Hello, This is Konishi from RE/MAX Community lab. I am from Kyoto, Japan and
studied and worked there in early years. Recently, I am located in Frankfurt, Germany
with my family. I can introduce Japan, Especially Kyoto and its city.
Last year, I have moved to Frankfurt, directry from Kyoto. It is 360 degree changes in my life although I also studied
in Finland and Worked in German firm before but in China.
The beauty of the city, for ” Living”, we have proverb in Japan ” When you live, it is your hometown” – yes it is but
yet, what is the real attraction people feel in the words in “Kyoto”.
As you know, Kyoto has more than 1200 years history, and we Kyoto jin ( means Kyoto people) says, the last war we had was,
Onin War in 1467-1477. You can see memorial sign in the Kami goryou jinja. Like any other events, you can see all historical places in Kyoto. Seacret of Kyoto is history and its wonder spot. You can explore city even if you are born in Kyoto there is full of Tips to find!
As you can see, it is safe place to live historically. ylAnd Gegoraphically, we call it “Bonchi” means, surrrounded by Mountain, and its very hot in summer and cold in Kyoto. Once I had my Finnish friend came to Kyoto and said ” This is colder than Finland!”.
Yes, Traditional housing is were often cold, while the architecture itsself are designed based on the condition for Summer.
But no problem. Outside, Japanese people spend alot of time outside, for eating, drinking, just walking and travelling, as if extention of your house. I would say extended living space now a days.
This is I think this is cultural defference between Europe and Japan, we Japanese tend to spend lots of activity in outside of home, while the home itsself are often smaller than European. Having party means ofcouse outside, and it became more popular ofcouse “Not to meet in Public” all in Japan, but we still wants to meet, means in Kyoto, You can meet also at the park next to Kamo river.
Walking in the city in Kyoto is very easy and lovely. Lovely for eyes! Although the street is Narrow, and lots of car and track in the morning and night time bringing food to ” Convini” or “Supermarket”, and so many coin parking in the city center, you can just pop in to the small shops or cafe. While width of the shop is defined by Multiple of 1.8M ( 1kken we call it)it is so many shop you can see while you walk 100m! Compare to Germany. Small is great in this case.
It is easy to go anywhere by walk, public bus and bycicle. When you wake up very early, you can go to Temple or Shrine and join Meditation, or just to feel drop of the water and sound in the quiet garden. Sky you see from the Temple is as if looks like same as ancient Japan.
And in Kyoto, There are great Museum and Art museums. I reccomend Kyoto National Museum designed in Meiji period (1897) using French Gothic style, Architect was Toukuma Katayama who was also going to Germany (that is surprise) to research the Palace Architecture. He used French Runessance styles, but still convined with the Japanese styles in its design.
New pard of Museum is designed by Architect Yoshio Tanicguchi who designed MoMA in NY. Learning from outside and creating new is always Kyoto’s culture. As you can see also in many Japanese culture Kimono design, Tea ceremony, Garden design, it is developped and flourished in Kyoto while our city had Emperor until 1869. You can still see Meiji Emperor’s house by visiting Imperial palace. Miyako Messe, Convention in Kyoto, or Rohm Theater also gives lots of events and art performance.
Art, Buddism, International education, Kyoto is an ideal city for spending time for University times. Research institute and opportunity to go other country, exchanging with other country its one of international city where she welcomes so many students and researchers.
And For artist, there is lots of Artist living in Kyoto. There is event like, Kyoto Experiment, Kyoto internatinal festivals. If your kids wants to study Art, I reccomend Kyoto City University of Arts, both for Arts and Music. Also Kyoto city Dohda Senior Highschool of Arts for Highschool – where I also leaned design! Kyoto has ground for leaning Art and people are very opened for Traditional art and also Latest Art or Mix or experiment. This I can say also in Architecture and Realestate. A lot of Machiya – Traditional wooden house has been demolished, but now people sees the value and possiblities to reuse and transform for new use after Corvid hit Japan – Tourism has changed and lots of guest house are in sale. I reccomend you can buy Traditional house and transform it to new use, while Machiya has layout of Shop in front and storage sometimes at the back. You can also have small garden in the building and enjoy every 4 seasons.
For those who wants to apply for Art program, Artist in residence, I reccoment to visit Kyoto Art Center!
The buildings are transformed from Elementary school which was supported by Community and now the facility is center of Contemporary and Experimental Art. It is nice just to walk in or join music event.
Living in Frankfurt I see often small art, nice details in the old building. Same in Kyoto, when you see European style building or Even traditional housings, has often experiment. Service too. Many of you from outside Japan knows, Japan has best Hospitality in every details, it is always standing user’s side. Above this still there is so much beauty for every paper sliding door, lightings, entrances, you will find in Roji (small path) . Interior design in Japan I think interpretation of Western and own tradition is really done by Designer while you go to still buy and spend time, or even work in the one retails. After Corvid-19 I think more interior design was opened for flexible use. We might ask “Why we had so much rooms in the house? or divisions?”while shop or house is so small! In our traditions, Sudare (Bamboo cutain), or Fusuma (Sliding door) is often used for every occasions, rooms are defined without name in Traditional times. I feel that we came back in the end this time of “No name room”. Man can decide own life styles and how you want to decorate or form your life, it is either choosing layout nor buying custome made house.
I reccomend to the Architects, or students who study Design to go to Kyoto, to see all beautiy and presentations in Products, and City itsself. Although it is more and more less wooden facade is built, still renovation is often done by Super professionals, Carpenter in Kyoto. When you need help, I can reccomend good carpenter and Construction company. Do not forget! there is also school to learn carpentry in Kyoro, so it might be your chance to study in Kyoto.
Shinpukan (2020) is designed by Architect Kengo Kuma. You can see garden and pathway inside the building and facade is also reflecting the spirit of Kyoto. Original building was designed by Tertsuro Yoshida (1894-1956), Architect who fuided Bruno Taut from Germmany. Yoshida is the author of “Das japanische Wohnhaus” introduced Japanese housing design (1954) and use to the Europe.
You can see continuous flow of Architecture history and you can even visit and stay and feel that is excellent.
Also I reccoment Beautiful moment, meeting people in the city. If you go to Sento (Public bath) which costs 460JPY ( really cheap for European eyes) , you can enjoy different color, seasonal bath, sauna too. Some Sento has also place to eat, so after the bath and relaxed body, you can enjoy food and beer. I reccomend Gokoyu, and Hakusan yu in Shimogyoku, and also Ginzayu, Heianyu in Sakyoku.
So when you want to find house its important to check public bath ( At least for me). While it is part of healthy life and normal rental house gives small Unit bath. It is also possible to renovate bath nice way, if you buy house. Most of the apartments ( Mansion we call) has Unit bath – which is all industrial ready made design and box type. Which you do not see in Europe.
School for those who go back to Japan also important to keep good surroundings for kids, Piano, Karate, Swimming – all lessons and transportations, and daily actibity like supermarket is without saying it gives energy to your life.
I often went to beautiful supermarket called Yaoichi in Nakagyoku, you can see Hatake (Vegitable field) on the top of the supermarket. They sells Obanzai(Home style vegirable or fish, Kyotostyles) , or Delikatessen to gives good ideas to enjoy seasonal food.
Fashion, Food, Products -People in Kyoto likes new things. But, we are traditinoally saying not grabbing them immidiately but rather “doubtful attidude” we take. Why because Kyoto people has been looking so many beautiul examples, but also the bad exmaples historically. Only successful things remained but that also changed. Nishijin ori, is the textile from 5th century, it has long history in its Techniques and Sericulture and silk weaving. One can see in Kamigyo-area (Kamigyo-district) , Traditonal house with old weavers once lived, people reuse buildings in new way, and you can feel the sound of Weaving… Now a days, Technique of Nishijin ori is used in many ways, such as Car interior, or Fashion. When you are interested you can also visit Kyoto Dento sangyo musum ( Kyoto Museum Crafts and Design). Living in Kamigyo area or Okazaki area also great chances to see those changes. But, remember! Kyoto is very nice city for walking and bycicle so depends of the life style you need ( for example, you want to buy house for summer and rent out while you are not in Japan) or Live in Kyoto, we can always reccomend “Changable situations” —buy or not to buy now, sell or not to sell and why.
Many Architects or traveller go to Tokyo and Kyoto and when they arrived Kyoto they regret that oh I feel good, so I should have planned more time in Kyoto! – Yes so please ask me when you want to go to Japan!
For those who wants to move to Kyoto or from overseas to Japan, I can connect to you to best agent in Japan.
Also, I can consult you for renovations and construction for your new life. For contact, please write to me, or
Contact directly from our website. So now you know bit why its nice to buy Traditional house and transform to your
style? Cause you have all good network of professionals here!
We are here for you to help connections to Kyoto, Investment and Buying propery in Kyoto, I reccomend you to contact those who knows from Japan! and really connected to Local info.
If you need property in other place in Japan, I can connect to Professionals in local area too.
Good luck for your future! and talk to you soon.
by Nazuki Millotat-Konishi | Realestate agent from Kyoto based in Europe
Buy, Sell, Rent for Kyoto, and also renovations and better design and life.
nae-ark > www.nae-ark.net
RE/MAX Community LAB