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  • Yuri

杉本家住宅の粋と変わる京都の街並み/A Kyoto's Traditional House and Changing Scenery


Many people realize after getting off a train that Kyoto has many modern building yet they expect to see something exotic traditional scenery. Their image is old wooden houses, a cobbled pathway, people in kimono like seen in movies.


Too early to be disappointed! Keep walking to the west from Shijo-Karasuma intersection nearby a station while looking carefully on your right. Your dream comes true just in five minutes.

膏薬辻子 - Koyaku no zushi Path

杉本家住宅 - the Sugimoto Residence


The Sugimoto Residence is one of the biggest houses as kyomachiya - long and narrow wooden row houses in Kyoto's traditional way. It's becoming 150 years old next year in 2020. The Sugimoto family made a fortune by Kimono deals.

9代目杉本家当主でいらっしゃった、故杉本秀太郎氏は「京都もまた、あらゆる日本の町のように現代風になったが、それは京都が都会から田舎へ退行したことを意味する。」と述べました。(p.116 『京の町屋 杉本家』)

In the past, the ninth generation of the Sugimoto family recalled the scenery in Kyoto had changed a lot in the same way as other cities in Japan had changed. He continues it lost Kyoto's exquisite cultivated atmosphere turned to barbarism.


We can't believe that he mentioned bonfire on five mountains on Aug 16th was possible to be seen from his house. Due to buildings, it's impossible now. Seeing such changes would have caused indescribable feeling to him.


I won't say anything about this, but what is true for sure is there were bunch of sophisticated ways and wisdom to enjoy their lives that current society is not aware of. When you visit here, you will be surprised how people lived in Kyoto tried to feel transit of seasons by changing house decorations, even entire doors and separations.


The courtyard is the way to a tea room, where they enjoyed drinking matcha (Japanese) green tea. There is a decorative well without a bucket aside from steppingstones and a lantern. This entire garden shows a warm welcome to the guests coming for tea. And I love rabbits here.


Unfortunately nowhere but three spots is allowed to take photos. If you want to do so at available places, bring your smartphones or cellphones with you when you enter, because camera equipment is prohibited. Also you need to leave your bag. So there is no way to show you details inside. Come and see with your own eyes!


It's open to public this summer until Sep 30th.