⑤Timetravel to 100 years ago.

House - Shared room · Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Your host, Ponkichi
16 Reviews
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within a few hours

This place is called Chian. It hasn't been renovated. But there is a nice western style toilet and bath room. You can never have this experience in Kyoto city. If you get use to nice and new hotels/hostels, it would be difficult.


Which is more important for you, the night life(Bars, Girls, Parties) in Downtown or a rural life in country side?
If you answer "Night life", please stop reading this and look for another place in or near downtown. If you answer "Rural life", (^^♪ Please keep reading this and ask us any questions or requests.

This house is more or less 100 years old. So it's very very very old. I'm sure that it's much older than you have been imaging. We are not Hostel. Hotel, neither. Please bring your own daily products. If you expect a comfortable stay, I do not recommend this place. Choose new hostels or hotels. But if you want to experience something different such as the old rural life style in urban city, this is the place. We'd also like you to experience something different from your routine and something special you can not do in your country. This place is managed by TOMO(me) and TAMA(blind Monk) helps me with many events such as meditation and Okinawa music. We both are Japanese and TAMA is a great musician If you'd love to meet TAMA, the reservation and donation(500yen/person~) is needed as he lives far from Chian. If you can play the instrument, let's jam. We have a guitar, an organ, a ukulele and so on. While you are at this place, you feel something spiritual at Chian through music, the atomsphere, the moment with TAMA.

Restaurants, Supermarket, Drug store, Convrnience store, Liquar shop and Karaoke are not far from Chian. They are close enough to walk to (1 min~15 min).
TAMA and I are best friends. I have not told TAMA that the income from this place will be used for an operation for his blind eyes in 10 years if possible.

◆How to use this old shared house "Chian":
①If you are one, two or three people, you share the room with other guest(s). It's a dormitory style.
②If you are two and want to have a private room, please go to another listing:"Chian: Room for 2 people". It's 6,900yen/2 people/night. You can have a 3 Tatami private room. There is no door but a curtain.
③If you want to use this house as a private (without other guests), the additional fee is asked. It's 7,000yen/person/night and 10,000yen/two people/night.
④If you are a group of 3 people or more and want to use this whole cabin as a private, please go to another listing:"Chian: for 3~6 people".
⑤We sometimes use the common space for some events such as a meditation class, music Live, BBQ, home party and so on between 13o'clock and 21o'clock.

①We do not have beds and sofa(couch). You sleep with a sleeping bag on Tatami.
②If you need internet access, let us know in advance.
③The lady living next to our house saves cats (used to be stray cats)from mercy killing and has many cats to last their life. So if you are alergic to cats smell, you may have difficulty when you pass in front of her house for a short cut. There is another path to our house, though(^^♪ . I am afraid of you having a bad impression but we need to tell a truth. We can't do anything for this. We are very proud of having Chian and keeping the tradition. And we appreciate this lady for protecting cats whom selfish people threw away. People have a life and aminals also have the light to live. Anyway many people who have already visited Chian really want to visit Chian again. We often havea fun and great time with local people and travelers chating, playing music, BBQing ...
If you know any solution about cat smell, please give us some advice. Is there any new product to kill the cat smell? If you bring it and if it works, you can get free dinner one time.

[kerosene in winter time]
500yen/3 hours for the heater

When you send me a booking request, please mention that you agreed with all the conditions and rules. And if you are with someone, please tell me about him/her.

I am usually at other guesthouse all the time. When you arrive, I want to welcome you and explain what you need and chat with you during your stay at least one time if you wish.

Chian in Kyoto city. There are many houses in our neighborhood. Route 1 is just 3 minute walk. There are many restaurants and shops.But In this area there are four 100 year old houses left in 21th century. Chian is one of them.. It's amazing and miracle. You feel like you were somewhere in the rutal village in Japan long long time ago.

From downtown there is a red bus(250yen) to our neignborhood. The bus is 15-20 minute ride and 3 minute walk to Chian. There is no direct bus from Kyoto stattion. If you have JR pass. Take a train to JR YAMASHINA and take a red bus #28 to KAWATAMICHI.

If you like night life such as drinking, having a party, we do not recommend this place to you. Please do not choose Chian because you could not find a place in high season or on weekends.

Room type: Shared room
Bed type: Futon
Accommodates: 7
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 1
Extra people: $34 / night after the first guest
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Security Deposit: $102
Cleaning Fee: $10
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM
Cancellation: Moderate
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Check In
  • Tomo-san is quite friendly and helpful. He provides useful directions on how to travel in Kyoto. The stay in Chian was ok, it includes electricity, hot shower, toilet and washing machine. The place was quite far from the city but travelling was quite easy with the bus stop information and direction given by him. The night was cold during my stay but Tomo-san provided enough blankets and duvet for it. The price is ok for the stay.

    April 2014
  • Tomo-san is a very friendly host and the place do indeed give a feeling of living in a traditional Japanese house. I was able to meet wonderful like-minded people at Chian too. The direction given was good enough and it is actually quite easy to get towards kyoto central from the area. After staying there for a few days, the place do grow on me, more so of the people that I manage to meet there and also the unique experience that it give. It is a good experience staying at Chian!

    April 2014
  • Tomo's 100 year old house is a bit outside Kyoto in Yamashima, but it's well worth the trip! I had a unique experience other than anything I have ever experienced so far in Japan, Tomosan is a great person who helped giving me and other patrons advice on the area. We had typical japanese food one night at a Ramen soup shop nearby which was great. If you are seeking something outside the ordenary hostel, book a place here! I would do it again any time!

    October 2013
  • The place is very basic but we couldn't found any hostel as it was weekend. It's not central but Paul drive us time to time for very good money.
    The night was cold but Tomo have spear duvet.

    October 2013
  • We are a group of 4 friends and stayed only for one night. It was a really cool experience. Tomo is very kind and funny. The best was the music session (ukulele + guitar + tam tam). The house looks the same as the description. Thanks Tomo !

    September 2013
  • If you are looking for an extraordinary experience, I advise you to go to Tomo!
    In addition to providing an accommodation off the beaten path, it is an excellent host who likes to discover his country!
    Great experience!

    Lyon, Marie

    August 2013
  • Well, the description for this house is quite accurate and the pictures are real. So you're going to get exactly what is advertized:
    - The house is less then 30 mins away from the Kyoto center, it's a short walk to the bus stop and one connection to the train. So it's great.
    - Tomo is a great host. He responds quickly and takes good care of his guests.
    - The house is in some old residential area and the core structure seems to be old, however, it has some basic conveniences as well, including electricity, hot water, shower and toilet. There is some basic kitchenette and "BBQ Grill" outside - we haven't tried them. I think there is also a washer.

    Now what is ok, but not so great:

    - This house doesn't look like a place where real people live, it's more like a staged set up with some mix of modern and old pieces. So it feels more like sleeping in a museum stand rather than a B&B. That's surely fun, but doesn't feel like authentic Japanese house where "real" people live.
    - The house has no insulation, so the weather outside is going to get you inside - not much you can do about it.
    - It is located in a quite neighborhood, however, the houses are really close together and you can hear people around you and they probably can hear you as well. So don't expect late night parties.
    - you're expected to sleep on tatami floor. The blankets and sleeping bags are provided, but no sheets. They looked reasonably cleaned but if you want to make sure your bed is fresh, you might bring your own sheets.

    Now, the real deal breaker for me. Tomo mentioned the cats next door. Well, it's a bit worse than that. I'm not super allergic to cats, but I'm sensitive to their smell and the house definitely has cats smell. Actually, we came during rain weather and the on the floor of the large room I could smell the cats as well as the soggy wet odor from under the floors. We ended up sleeping on the beams where air was much fresher.

    Overall, I have a bit mixed feelings about this place. However, if you feel adventurous, I can ensure you that you can rely on Tomo and the place is liveable, it's just may not fit your style.

    June 2013
  • Staying at Tomo's has been such a great and genuin experience. Even if it was cold in Kyoto at this period, Tomo did his best to warm the house. as written in the description, it's a very old place so don't expect the modern confort of an hotel. If you're looking for an authentic experience with a wonderful host, this is the place!!!

    April 2013
  • My first two nights in Kyoto were in Tomo's place, and it was a great thing. I had a long trip from Paris, had not slept, spent a long and full day in kyoto, i was exhausted. After his friend drove me to Chian, Tomo showed me a great noodle place where i ate great tempura noodles. And i was alone in Chian, i slept just wonderfully. The place is not the comfiest place you could find, but it is such a quiet place. And Tomo is really a nice guy, he took me on his scooter for a night and showed me some cherry blossom hidden places. As it's written in the description, he wont hesitate to do some boeuf session, with his ukulele and his harmonica, really nice moment.

    April 2013
  • My stay at Chian was excellent, and getting to know Tomo was a highlight in my Japan trip.

    About the place: It is a special place to stay if you want to experience great local hospitality, a unique quiet atmosphere, a calm authentic residential neighborhood, and an off-the-beaten path overall experience.

    The house has an amazing spirit, and as simple as it is, I had my most comfortable sleep in decades there.

    I stayed there during very cold winter days, but there was enough heating on floor/carpet and ambient heaters for a cozy feeling. I imagine the house must be great also in warm weather. There is a little varanda with grill that looks like a place to hang out, chat and do some cooking.

    Make sure you read carefully the description provided by the host, so that you go there with the right mindset. It is just as Tomo describes it in his listing. No more, no less. Above all, it is a place that deserves respect and reverence for what it is and what it means.

    Acess to central Kyoto and temple areas is really easy by bus right around the corner, or by subway an easy 10 min stroll from the house. There is some very good dining options within 5 min walk from the house.

    I was alone in the house during my stay. Since I did not have to share the place, I had more then enough space, quiet, and privacy. I do not know what it would be like to stay there sharing with others, but I know for sure that the spirit of the house would not change.

    About the host: What can I say about Tomo...hard to put into words his wonderful warmth, his deep genuine concern with his guests, his great sense of humor, his heart and soul. Meeting Tomo was a blessing, a gift in my trip. And he has some really cool friends who you may have the good fortune to meet.

    Tomo's Englih is excellent, as well, as his Spanish and French. But he is also a true local, a Kansai native. He knows everything about Kyoto. He is a great dining companion, and I only know his good reputation as a cook. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to experience that, but Ii'll return if only just to try his home cooking.

    But above all his hosting habilities, Tomo is a wonderul human being, with a big heart and a free soul! If he treats you to some music performance with ukulele, harmonica, organ or what not, then you're in for a treat! Regardless, just sit down for a chat and discover a wonderfully endearing person.

    January 2013
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English, Español, Français, 中文, 日本語
Boeki Gakuin, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies
Language instructor
Please ask the availability first. Beacause I am too busy to update the calender. Do not send me a booking request without our conversation about the availability. My name is TOMO. I live alone as I am enjoying freedom in the rest of my life. I like cooking. I'(email hidden) and know many local places which are not touristic at all. I play music for fun and love magic trics. If you can play the instrument, let's jam together. I have a guitar, an Organ, a toy piano, a harmonica, an ukulele and a Sanshin(traditional instrument from Okinawa.)
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