Kyoto Machiya - Street View

Our home in Kyoto for the next three months is a Machiya, a traditional house with a tiled roof, cement and wooden walls and a courtyard garden. It’s in an area to the north of the Nijo Palace. Not being a great linguist, I’m having trouble with remembering our location, so I have to use mnemonics, we’re near the junction of   Horikawa, “Horrid Car ” and  Maruta-matchi, “Marry to Match” .

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Machiya Formal Entrance

The internal walls of paper and wood are called shoji. Tatami mats cover all the floors. It is rather chilly and we need to warm the room we are using and keep all the sliding doors and walls shut, rather like being on a space ship and keeping the airlocks in place.

I realise that every internal surface is divided into rectangles, and wonder if Yayoi’s obsession with spots and organic forms could be a rebellion against the rigidity of the linear geometrics in a traditional Japanese house.

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Dining Room to Garden
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Sake Barrel

Its cold at night, so we decide to buy some sake and ask the shop owner which one is good hot. He serves us, and Colin asks permission to photograph a lovley old Sake poster. The shopkeeper then surprises us by giving us a present of two little sake cups and a blue and white container.

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