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  • If you ask any Japanese person where the heart of Japan is, the odds are they'll point you in the direction of Kyoto.

  • And let's face it, it's not hard to see why.

  • When I come in to make a video, I'm always kind of spoiled for choice.

  • I don't know what today I can cover the food, the history, the culture, the shopping for May.

  • The thing that really gives Kota a sense of identity is the architecture.

  • I mean, look at this beautiful, stunning traditional building it za Starbucks.

  • That's where I got my, uh, so I got my cappuccino from Believe it or not, I'm not come here today to look at Starbucks because hidden down every side street in Kyoto are the majestic, stunning town houses that really give the city.

  • It's magical atmosphere on.

  • We've come here today to take a peek behind closed doors and see what's inside.

  • It's Let's go find out you are today.

  • We'll be staying overnight in a stunning traditional Kyoto townhouse known in Japanese as Mathieu.

  • We'll take a look inside a variety of different homes to discover what characteristics and design choices make up Mathieu on.

  • We'll hear from the man who's dedicated his life to renovating them, who reveals the sad truth about why Kyoto's town houses or of the threat if Tokyo is the beating heart of Japan is the center of politics and commerce.

  • Kyoto is the country's sole.

  • There may only be 2.5 hours away by Shin content, but the two cities feel like a world away from each other.

  • That being said, arriving in Kyoto for the first time, can feel like an underwhelming experience.

  • When you first step out of the futuristic, colossal structure that is Kyoto Station and into the city's un remarkable downtown area.

  • It's not really what you imagine it to be, and it all feels rather anticlimactic.

  • But then, as you leave the station behind the bland generic buildings, you got a few blocks and climb a staggering amount of stairs.

  • You are rewarded with a view like this, and this is when the beauty of Kyoto really starts to kind of reveal itself.

  • This is the Kilmister Dera Temple, probably the most famous temple in Kyoto, and, uh, the view from up here are nothing short, breathtaking, particular.

  • If you climb all those stairs very breathtaking.

  • Indeed.

  • Of all the cities I visited in Japan over the years, Kyoto is the one that's most like on RPG like a video game, because hidden down every alleyway, there's a secret.

  • There's a shrine, a temple cafe Ah, park.

  • Right now we're in front of an alleyway down a side street off a Backstreet.

  • I'm about to show you where I'm staying for the night.

  • Come with Hidden down this inconspicuous alleyway are four townhouse on.

  • This is the place I'm gonna be calling home just for tonight.

  • Eso off the side street and into the townhouse where we dio it's not.

  • This is the entrance room.

  • Lots of slippers here.

  • Of course, when you go into a Japanese house, any house you must take off your shoes and switch to slippers.

  • The only time I've seen a Japanese person get angry with my friend was when he walked into a house without taking his shoes off.

  • Understandable, really, with one role in Japan that you need to know.

  • So then let's g o in fine.

  • Into the townhouse, on into the kitchen, the dining room on the sitting room, all in one.

  • So as you can see.

  • It's quite a small town house.

  • Apparently, it fits two people ideally, but you can have for folks in here as well.

  • See upstairs in a minute, but I love it.

  • It's very peaceful, very quaint, and you kind of feel locked off from the world.

  • You put your own kind of private slice of Kyoto, but you do have a window here to the outside world.

  • There's a little Zen garden there, which is really nice.

  • He's still but that kind of indoor outdoor connection.

  • But the Japanese have a word for this sort of place.

  • There is cool air, which means private kind of private space, hidden space.

  • Apparently a lot of Japanese guests come here to sort of just hide away for a few days.

  • You can see how you can see why Beautiful exposed Being here is Well, it's kind of got that really nice connection traditional on contemporary.

  • Let's go check out the bathroom area.

  • We've got nice kitchen space here, but over here the rial highlight of the house, A washer and dryer.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, if you'd like to wash and dry your clothes, this the townhouse for you Restroom Very well sign posted, just in case you get confused.

  • But the best room in this town houses this one right here.

  • This is the bathing room, complete with a hinoki.

  • Wouldn't bath Cyprus words beautifully finished?

  • Why don't I have one in my house?

  • So hinoki wood comes from the Japanese Cyprus tree on it is known for giving kind of a very high quality timber, which is used in temples and shrines throughout the country and, of course, bathtubs.

  • And it's set to smell like lemons, so it's kind of a sweet sent one of its lemons.

  • But it's very nice, kind of refreshing smell to it, but also because it's a high quality timber.

  • It means it doesn't rot easily, so it's perfect for bathtubs and hot springs and onset.

  • Having spent the morning sitting inside it, I can attest to its magnificence.

  • I never want to go back to my generic mash market plastic bathtub ever again, so we're upstairs now on into the bedroom area.

  • When we get on, it is really cozy and quaint.

  • A Zaken C two twin beds here.

  • At first you might think it's kind of small.

  • Is that a little bit small, but behind each of these shorty sliding doors, there's a surprise behind Shorty.

  • Sliding door number one.

  • We have a balcony, a nice outdoor balcony, which we'll get to in a minute.

  • And then over here.

  • As I said earlier, you can fit up to four guests in this townhouse to guests here and the other two in this room.

  • A little secret.

  • Hidden room.

  • Come on in.

  • And for the quintessential Kyoto view, look a lot you can see across the street to the other town houses.

  • It feels it feels a little bit like going back in time to the Edo era.

  • I love it.

  • But with a space like this, you can't fit two photons or give.

  • And I'm just gonna be in here alone.

  • I'm just gonna roll around on the floor, do some press ups, sort of things you could exclusively dio Japanese townhouse.

  • So out here on the balcony, I haven't been out here yet, so I don't know what to expect.

  • That they want to smash my head on these nice Kawada roof tiles.

  • Oh, wow, are so cool.

  • You can really appreciate the beautiful traditional roof of the house.

  • Unfortunately, over the years, Japan has lost a lot of its traditional architecture throughout the country.

  • Prefabricated houses are the norm, and they last for about 30 years before their bulldozed and rebuilt.

  • But as I said, this is one of the smaller town houses.

  • We're gonna go and look and see what you can get on the higher end of the scale, but also kind of hear about the process behind renovating these houses because it can't be cheap and it must take a lot of time.

  • So let's go and find out how he's renovated and let's go and see what you get for more of your hard earned cash without banging your head on the reef.

  • Tithe eso one of the key characteristics that make up a match.

  • Your townhouse, where here are five things to look out for.

  • Number one of the ubiquitous Corsi wooden lattices that you find on the exterior of most town houses.

  • They evolved as a security measure during a period of social upheaval on military conflict during the 14 hundreds and subsequently became popular by allowing a degree of privacy from passers by, walking down the narrow streets and speaking of narrow number two, you may hear Macha being referred to as you noggin or medical literally.

  • Eels nest in reference to the narrow fronts and deep, thin interiors.

  • This style originates in the Edo era, When a property was taxed according to the width of the front of the building, residents would have their shops at the front and their homes towards the back, which leads us to characteristic number three towards the back of the house.

  • A small garden or courtyard allows residents to enjoy a slice of nature and peace and quiet from the comfort of their own home, even amongst the bustling city center.

  • Not only that, but the garden can have a ventilating effect, allowing the air to pass through the front of the house and leave at the rear while we're on the subject of ventilation number four.

  • If you look up, you might find skylights, which are common features in larger Mata, not just to allow light in, but also to help call the rooms in the summer months by releasing heat.

  • A number five is an audience to natural materials, from the wooden timber to the tatami straw mats, which give a warm glow to the interior, reflecting the soft light through the paper on the shoji sliding doors.

  • All of these characteristics resonate with the senses to create a feeling of calm that can often be hard to come by in a modern home.

  • And yet, despite this, this stunning town houses have been in decline for many years now.

  • Between 1996 to 2003 alone, 13% of Kyoto's Macha were destroyed.

  • On the search for answers, I meet with an entrepreneur whose renovated almost two dozen town houses, including the very one that I'm staying in tonight.

  • Cordy Meader was once an investment banker living and working in Tokyo.

  • But after a visit to Kyoto, a fell in love with the city and started a new, successful career in renovation.

  • I sit down with him to uncover, Why match you a disappearing and what it takes to bring them back to life?

  • Mhm.

  • So how long have you been renovating townhouses in Kato?

  • I started my business for five years ago.

  • Five years on, you've got 20 properties now.

  • Yes, 20.

  • A lot of properties in a very short space of time.

  • Yes, why so many?

  • Because I like something hard job.

  • If I can make a success in the rebuilding the material, I can stay in Kyoto.

  • A townhouse like this.

  • How long does it take to actually renovate?

  • It may be a two month, Only two months.

  • Two months?

  • Really?

  • Yes.

  • I thought it would take, like two years.

  • E two months, two months.

  • And how much does it cost About maybe 200,000 U.

  • S study 200,000 US us.

  • Quite a lot.

  • Yeah, I always talked with my bank e o People in Kyoto doesn't like mature because much is very old on the day.

  • Not not half for, you know, in summer.

  • Very hot in Winner.

  • Uh, maybe very cold.

  • So they try always.

  • You know, people in Kyoto try to, you know, uh, try destroy the Kyoto Macha to make a new house modern are all the Japanese people is very short, you know.

  • All right, paying these baby doll.

  • So s she Looks pretty large.

  • Yes.

  • So way make a few years ago a policy of a government destroy the old town house.

  • Thio?

  • Yes.

  • Because of the fire.

  • Yeah, they urged people may make a new house like a safer house where it's interesting.

  • I mean, it's a problem.

  • I used to live in Sakata Yamagata adventure in the 19 seventies.

  • It's a love.

  • Soccer was burned down along the old house is gone in a day because of that.

  • But it's a real shame because the best house in Japan, all these traditional town houses.

  • I think it's really great what you're doing, and I think it's exciting.

  • If you can keep Kyoto's history, you can keep these town houses.

  • Then it's great for Kyoto, hopefully other cities in Japan or take notice.

  • I want you to expand my development.

  • Thio, another city like Carville e.

  • I think it's fantastic.

  • I think it's really great.

  • Thank you, Thank you today for your open Mhm.

  • It's sad to hear that Kyoto's Macha have fallen out of fashion is places to live but understandable, given the lack of convenience, let alone the expensive upkeep.

  • However, there is a ray of hope.

  • It's exciting to hear that Kyoto's town houses of finding a new lease of life for tourists looking toe escape and hide away in a more traditional setting, especially if their popularity amongst travelers is able to convince local entrepreneurs and Kyoto's own government to have a more proactive role in their long term preservation.

  • The Matthew that I'm staying in costs around $200 a night on whilst you can find cheaper places to stay, such as a business hotel.

  • If you're looking to make the accommodation as much a part of your experience in Kyoto as the city itself, in the price is worth it for the extra space, the beautiful setting and, of course, the amazing Inaki Would and Bath, even if it doesn't smell like lemons.

  • Certainly a bold move, letting me cook my own dinner.

  • I'm The world's work has been established in previous videos and letting me cook sukiyaki.

  • It was not a good idea, but it's turned out all right.

  • I might not be a great cook, but that's pretty good in the beef.

  • It's beautiful buggy beef.

  • You just let it sit for about 2030 seconds and it's cooked.

  • It is the most idiot proof dish in the world.

  • That is why I'm doing a relatively good job of it.

  • But I hope you enjoyed our tour through Kyoto, these beautiful, stunningly renovated town houses.

  • But for now, guys is always Betty.

  • Thanks for watching.

  • Brought Japan Channel.

  • Stick around for more videos, and I hope to see you right back here on.

  • It's going to say Well, isn't it?

If you ask any Japanese person where the heart of Japan is, the odds are they'll point you in the direction of Kyoto.

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Why Kyoto's STUNNING Townhouses Are Going EXTINCT

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/25
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