A Japanese Honeymoon Home


There is something about honeymooning in a house…especially when that home is gorgeous, exotic, and one you don’t have to clean yourself. Instead of a hotel for our Kanazawa honeymoon, we opted for a 19th-century townhouse in the former geisha district for extra privacy and cultural authenticity.  Machiya Kanazawa started as our lodging and became our homebase for Japanese immersion.  
The Machiya Kanazawa rental agency renovated a 19th-century teahouse in the old Geisha quarter of Kanazawa and turned it into Machiya Kikunoya, a townhouse for guests to experience life in a traditional Japanese home. Perfectly located along the Asanogawa  river, the house is in walking distance to the Kanazawa Castle, samurai mansions, numerous museums and Kenrokuen, amongst the three most perfect gardens in all of Japan. Our travel agent/curator, Art of Travel, recommended them to us and it couldn’t have been a better choice!

Machiya Kanazawa Art of Travel Japan from HoneyTrek on Vimeo.

The beauty of traditional Japanese houses is in their minimalism and Machiya Kikuyona was a crowning example. Designed with tatami mat floors and only the most curated furniture, the open space is incredibly versatile and inviting. See our video for the full house tour and the many ways we enjoyed our Japanese home.

A particularly special section of the house is the tea ceremony room. Japanese tea ceremony is one of the most intimate and special ways to welcome new guests to the home and we were ushered here upon arrival. Gathered around the stove in the floor, we enjoyed the bitter green tea and sweets, learning about the finer points of this deeply cultural ceremony.

Adding to the incredible hospitality, each morning we were treated to a delicious breakfast. The machiya caretaker Ota-san comes in each morning so that guests wake up to hot a meal, beautifully laid out in the dining room. Not only does she prepare breakfast but she also makes sure the house is tidy and that you always have everything you need—from fresh towels to local advice. Having her available gave us the support of a hotel staff but with the privacy of our own home.

This was the view from our dining room, tea ceremony room, bedroom, and lounge. The machiya is centered around a courtyard with a composed landscape of rocks, stone lantern, bird bath and trees that soar up to the second story. No matter where you are in the house, be it any room or the interior balconies, the garden view provided a constant source of inspiration.

One of the most special experiences that Machiya Kikunoya afforded us was a private dinner and performance from two geishas (if you are interested in how the evening progressed be sure to read our next post about Art of Travel). With the help of a few sliding paper walls, our master bedroom and the adjoining reading room transformed into a dramatic entertaining space for the evening of music, dance, and lively conversation.

When you visit Tokyo…splash out in a luxury hotel. When you visit Kyoto…indulge in a traditional ryokan. But when you visit Kanazawa–you have to experience a few days in a traditional machiya–it might just be your most memorable stay.

Much love from Kanazawa,
Anne & Mike

Note: Machiya Kanazawa asked us to be their guests; however, all opinions are our own.

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