We had such a great time in your lovely Apple House. We really enjoyed the eight nights we spent in your sweet Japanese home. The Apple House is perfectly equipped and lovingly decorated! It is also so incredibly quiet here, and we appreciated this a lot. If we ever come back to Japan (and I really hope we will!), we will definitely stay at the Apple House again! Thank you for your kind support, your prompt reaction via email and your transportation service from the station and back. Ookini! All the best.
For future guests we highly recommend the rickshaw tow in Arashiyama! And don't go for the all-you-can-eat buffet at the Kyoto Handicraft Centre....
M. and T., Nuremberg, Germany
Our eighth stay! Not long enough and very sorry not to catch up with David, but many thanks, as always, to you both. This all-too-short at our beloved Apple House has marked the end of a terrific five-week visit to Japan. We just missed the snow in Shugakuin, but we have enjoyed the warmth of Apple House and your friendship. T. has SO enjoyed the warmth of the kotatsu! Thank you! It has been a great way to mark retirement after having a sabbatical here in 2010. This is a place to slow down, to think and to find the joy in life and friends. With very best wishes, and we hope to see you soon. (R. and M.)
Thank you for letting us stay here! It has been a long time since we came here. Well, I'm not quite sure it was not THAT long ago, you get the point! I love Apple House, especially the kotatsu! It is so warm!! I wish I had one at home. Anyway, things still seem the same, but I still love it here! I hope next time we will come back here again! Life has changed so many times.... I was just looking back the comments of our previous visits. (T.)
R., M. and T., Sydney, Australia
This is our second stay at Apple House. The first experience here was so wonderful that we came back again! Being here in Kyoto in November has been absolutely stunning. Apple House has been a comfort everyday. After walking this amazing city, it is so relaxing to return here and enjoy the feeling of "coming home". Your helpfulness and generosity have been so appreciated. Best wishes.
S. and H., U.S.A.
Thank you very much for providing such a comfortable house. We enjoy staying in Apple House and Kyoto. My girl loves everything apple now! Thank you for picking us up at the station and all your kind help. Five days are too short. We hope to come back here again. Best wishes.
P., K. and N., Thailand
Thank you very much for everything! We very much enjoyed staying in the welcoming Apple House! We had a lovely time exploring beautiful Kyoto and we all hope to make it back again! Thank you again for your kind hospitality.
Well wishes to all those staying under this Apple House roof!!
D. and S., New Mexico, S. and C., Washington, U.S.A.
Thank you so much for making our first trip to Japan and Kyoto wonderful! Thank you also for letting us stay in this awesome Apple House. We really enjoyed living in this house.
You also wanted to help us with everything we needed. We could not have had a better first days in Japan. When we come to Kyoto again, this will definitely be the place where we stay again! Thank you very much!
A., C., A. and O., Sweden
We had a great time at the Apple House! It was perfectly located for "temple hopping" and sightseeing. The Apple House also provided a perfect opportunity for us to get a view into an ordinary Japanese house. We would definitely stay again! Thank you so much!!
K., A., L. and A., New York, U.S.A.
It has been wonderful to come "home" to Kyoto and Apple House. Your gracious hospitality, the quiet neighbourhood and the beautiful city are always a central part of our Japan memories. We are already thinking of next year's trip and hoping to stay even longer! Three visits to Kyoto (two at Apple House - our favourite in all of Japan!) and we still have not seen everything.
It has only been our second time here but it feels like a second home. Thank you for being such a wonderful host. Every detail was thought of and attended to. We enjoyed exploring a little further but still have places to go that you have suggested...next time! Thank you for everything!
W. and M., Connecticut, U.S.A.
Thank you for a wonderful holiday in Apple House. We love Kyoto and the beautiful surroundings. This is our first visit to Japan and your help before and during our holiday has been really appreciated.
We had a wonderful tour round the Shugakuin Imperial Villa which is only minutes away from Apple House. The gardens are breathtaking. The No.5 bus is great for seeing the sights, and the bikes have been in good use for trips by the river.
We can recommend the Hozugawa-Kudari boat ride passing between mountains and running the rapids. We saw otters, terrapins, kingfisher, cormorants, herons and egrets. We have been so comfortable in Apple House and feel that its traditional style has been a great part of our holiday. We return to the U.K. with great memories. Thank you for your hospitality!
P. and B., St. Helens, England
A wonderful little place! All that you need supplied. Great to have two bikes - we rode all around Kyoto and it was great fun! Thanks to Hiroko and best wishes to all who stay here!
G. and J, Australia
A very good stay for us here in Apple House. A very quiet and comfortable place. We particularly appreciate the cleanliness of the place after a bad experience in Tokyo. Kyoto is a charming city with so may pleasant places to discover. Thank you, Hiroko, for your attention.
L., M., E. and M., Lyon, France
As the first family visiting from Luxembourg, the REAL country between Belgium, France and Germany, I could not but leave a message. This was our first time in Apple House and we enjoyed it very much, even though our stay was so short. For sure, we will try to book for a much longer stay next time....
F., N., S. and J., Limpertsberg, Luxembourg
This is my 5th time here!! Thanks for everything again and again. This is a really relaxing time for us. I do not know what I should say more, but believe me, I will return to Apple House again. Thanks very much!
M. and N., Thailand
Thank you for making our stay in Kyoto so easy. We really enjoyed staying at Apple House and in this wonderful neighbourhood. Thank you also for picking us up and looking after us.
H., J., C. and D., Sydney, Australia
Thank you for a very lovely stay at lovely Apple House! Thanks for your hospitality and kindness, for giving us a lift from and to the station. A special "Arigato" for organizing a stroller for us - that really made our trip so convenient for us, just perfect for going by bus and train!
We loved the traditional style of the house and the children fell for the "apple theme" immediately - speaking of returning to the "Apfelhaus" and a cuddly toy "Herr Apfel" in the evening. How happy we were when we discovered a little "Apple" cafe today at the Philosopher's Path! There is so much to see and to do - we would love to come back again! All the best.
U., J., M. and M., Unkel, Germany
Agradecemos todas tus atencioneses. Pasamos un tiempo maravilloso en esta hermosa ciudad. Disfrutamos la autenticidad de la "Casa Mansana", fue una expeneneia enriquecedora. La cultura y la gente de japón nos han gustado mucho. Gracias por tu hospitalidad. Ojalá algun día visites méxico.
Familia R.S., Mexico
We were complete strangers to Kyoto and Japan, but felt at home when we'd returned to the Apple House after a long day of sightseeing. We were only here for a few days, but long enough to want to come back. This has been a memorable trip in Japan. Thanks for providing such a great place to rest and plan our day tripping over a cup of coffee or plates of sushi.
M. and K., Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.
Thank you for the lovely stay in Apple House. Your warmth and kindness from the pick-up at the station, and then sorting out our lost property crisis, were above and beyond. We have had a fun and very comfortable time during these four days in Kyoto, and coming home to Apple House at the end of each day has been a large part of our enjoyment. Many thanks and best wishes.
A. and R., NSW, Australia
Thanks for everything again and again. Thank you for being with us all the time. We very much appreciated your support. Nothing I can say more than this, but honestly, we will be your regular guests forever! See you again in spring!
I love Apple House! Apple House is a lovely place. Thank you for everything! (N.)
M. and P. family, Bangkok, Thailand
Thank you for letting us stay in the lovely Apple House. It was extremely busy few days in Kyoto and we saw the tourist destinations we wanted, so it was good to be able to go to the Apple House for some rest and relaxation. We really appreciated the ride from the subway and the well appointed accommodation. Thank you for everything!
J. and A., San Diego, California, U.S.A.
After five days in crazy Tokyo, this was a most welcome change. We now truly feel like we are in Japan. The temples, the culture, the food and most importantly, the kindness of the people. Every time we opened up a map to see where we were or heading to, someone would stop to help us... even take the time to walk us to where we needed to go to catch a bus or train. Incredible!! It all started with your kind hospitality!
Your home is lovely and we truly enjoyed staying in an authentic Japanese home. Kyoto is simply picturesque. It was a wonderful stay which has created amazing memories for us. We cannot wait to share with our friends and family.
J. and M., Montreal, Canada
Thank you for your help and support, which made our stay here more enjoyable.
G. and A., Wiltshire, England
We had a wonderful three night stay - we especially liked listening to the sound of water every time we opened a window. Very soothing and restful! We have made "your" house, "our" home. Thank you!
J. and M., Wisconsin and Hawaii, U.S.A.
Thank you so deeply for enabling our stay in Kyoto staying at your beautiful Apple House. It is a gorgeous place to stay, quite otherworldly and serene. Sleeping upstairs with the gentle sound of cascading water is very peaceful. We very much enjoyed its authenticity, both H. and I are long time enthusiasts of Japanese history and art, so it is a treasure to stay in a real home. We even set up our own Tokonoma (hope you don't mind - we put Mr. Apple back!). Our favourite experience was cycling around Kyoto to see many temples and shrines and the Nishiki Market. E. also loved the trains, trams and cable-car as we don't have them back home. I have traveled on four of six continents and I must say that Kyoto is one of earths gems and Apple House its little twinkly!
A., H. and E., Cairns, Australia
This is visit no7 to Apple House for us and again it feels too short. We have had a lovely time. Sekizan Zen'in had its usual welcoming peacefulness. I revisited Kiyomizu Temple for the first time in many years, and also finally made it to the Kyoto National Museum. As always, we've treasured our moments at Apple House and with you. We took a day trip to USJ and brought back a little bit of Hogwarts; rediscovered Kyoto Chocolat in Okazaki; stumbled across a hydro-power station at the Biwako Canal and between us managed "day trips" to Nagoya and Tokyo(!!!) as well as Osaka and into Kyoto.
Thanks for the glimpses of serenity the Apple House and Kyoto offers, and for your hospitality and friendship. With our love and best wishes to the boys when they are back. (R.)
As always, thank you for letting us stay in Apple House. It's very comfortable and relaxing except the hotness this time. I really liked to sit down and watch anime, vines and playing apps. My favourite place is Kanade because it's really good. I like Japan. Universal Studios is fun because... oh, I don't know!.. I mean I liked Harry Potter World and the ride on Jaws. I love ice cream in Japan! Thank you for the kindness and hospitality of letting us stay here for a week. Bye! (T.)
R., M., T. and P., Sydney, Australia
Thank you for enabling us to stay in a real Japanese house on our first visit to Japan. We truly enjoyed our stay in Apple House and the quiet neighborhood. All three of us loved to sleep on the floor and agreed that we slept better here than back home. Kyoto has so much to offer and we only saw a small portion of it during our four day stay. We will come back for a longer stay to enjoy the culture. Guess where we will stay? APPLE HOUSE!!! We appreciated your rides to station and tips. Thank you so much!
M., J. and J., Sacramento, CA, U.S.A.
As the first time visitors to Japan (passing through Tokyo for 5 days first), Apple House and Kyoto have been the highlight of our trip and we will carry these cherished moments back home with us. Thank you for your hospitality and the ride to and from the station! You made everything about staying here easy and relaxed and provided us with lots of information. Apple House has been a true treasure and a delight. Thank you for sharing it with us....
And for visitors to come! Here were our favorite trips and treats! (1) Biking to Arashiyama to see the monkey park, eat shredded ice with cream and rent a rowing boat on the river. (We are both pretty tall - 6ft and 5ft10 respectively - so the bikes were a bit small, but don't let that deter you.) (2) Drinks at Nokishita 711 and evening walk through Pontocho. (It was a delicious gin bar - great prices! 800 Yen for the most delightful drink!) (3) Amazing Ramen!!! Takayasu - short walk (15 minutes) from Apple House - Creamy rich broth, thin pork, and fried chicken on the side. Our favorite meal in Japan! (4) Hiking Mt. Hiei. The trail was hard to find at first (it looks like a small creak bed along a fence, but keep going!), but we persevered and it was awesome!! (5) HIDA was our first meal and one of the loveliest experiences! The woman who runs it was fantastic! (6) Early runs along the river or to nearby parks. (7) Shimogamo Shrine - a bit tucked away. Beautiful trees! (8) Petit Chambord - the patisserie by the tram is a delightful way to start the day! (9) The tram to Kurama for the outdoor onsen (even if you don't like onsens, the views from the tram alone are worth it). Also we loved the Apple House onsen! Enjoy your stay, fellow Apple House travelers! May you sleep as peacefully as we did upon our futons and have the sweetest Apple House dreams!
Also we loved shopping at Jumble Store (Great thrift store for clothes! Reminded us of Buffalo Exchange in the States.) Don't forget to take it easy! Bring home a bottle of sake, play some cards, read, rest, sit by the river, enjoy your time here and fill your spirit!
C. and B., Chicago, U.S.A.
This was our first time with our children in Kyoto. Many thanks for your helpful information before our trip to Japan, your kindness, the nice origami stars and the lovely Apple House! We hope to come back in a few years! Thank you very much.
J., C., S. and J., Rosengarten near Hamburg, Germany
This was our first time in Kyoto and we were very happy to stay at Apple House for this period of time. Your lovely house made us feel very comfortable. Your information about Kyoto and especially transportation was very helpful. We would also like to stress that we really appreciated your prompt answer via email before our arrival and also during our stay!! We hope to see you again!
G., S., T. and N., Germany
Thank you for your hospitality. We love your bed (futon) and kitchen. We felt very comfortable just like being in our home in Taiwan. Special thanks to your limousine service!
N., T., B. and W., Taiwan
Thank you for your awesome hospitality! We loved the area and enjoyed staying at your Apple House. This was our first visit to Japan and staying in a traditional home added to our experience. Most people who stay at typical hotels do not get the pleasure of taking in Kyoto from a residential perspective.
Meeting us and returning us to the station was great as well as all your advice, maps and guidance were greatly appreciated. Our only regret is that we cannot stay longer! We will definitely consider staying here again in the future. Thank you, Hiroko!
G. and T., Regina, Canada
We love Apple House and enjoyed our stay in your lovely, well-equipped and relaxing home. The "ofuro" (bath) was a must after a long day out and about in Kyoto, and the washing machine was a lifesaver because we packed very lightly for our 4 days here. Since we are not bike riders, Apple House forced us to find other means of transportation. Bus #5 was it! We were very comfortable getting around using the bus and JR systems. We covered all the places we had on our list and more.
It was a great experience living in an authentic Japanese home. We are very pleased and thank you for these wonderful and precious memories of Kyoto. Thank you again, Hiroko, for your kind hospitality, your helpful suggestions and advice, and picking us up and taking us to the station. We truly hope to come back again to Kyoto and stay at Apple House. Aloha and Mahalo!
J. and M., Hawaii, U.S.A.
We have had a wonderful time in Kyoto. Our week here has been so comfortable and enjoyable. We love Kyoto.
We also love the Apple House. We were welcomed and had everything we needed. We were very comfortable. It was a pleasure to return to the Apple House after a tiring day of exploring and sightseeing. Hiroko is a lovely and supportive host. Thank you for having us at your house. We love the origami, the tips for local events and sights, and very much appreciate the drive from the subway station and back again. You are part of our happy memories and we will recommend you.
C., S. and E., Sydney, Australia
We fell in love with your city Kyoto and especially your lovely Apple House. It is so cozy, and you took extra care down to the little details to make us feel so welcome. The house is very convenient for us to take the bus. Thank you for picking us up and dropping us at the subway station. You are such a gracious host. Take care and we hope to come back soon!
T., H., J. and D., U.S.A.
As your first guests from Greece, we would like to say that your house was very comfortable, traditional and quiet. We had a very pleasant, if tiring, time in Kyoto trying to visit as many places as possible in our four days. Thank you.
P., V. and C., Thessaloniki, Greece
Bonjour! It seems like yesterday when we first arrived in this pretty little Apple House. Time has flown so fast in this very nice city, Kyoto. We enjoyed riding your bikes from temple to temple during the first sunny days. We really liked to experience the Japanese life style in this house. Thank you for your hospitality and we will recommend your house to friends who might one day come to Kyoto. We now follow our trip to Hiroshima and we hope to see you again!
A. and A., France
This is my second time back to Apple House, and just like last time, I wish it had been a longer stay. The beds are so comfortable, I wish I had these at home now - who would have thought that sleeping on the floor would be so good? I will keep recommending friends to come and stay at Apple House, and I will definitely be back again!
L. and J., Australia
This is our second time at Apple House. We are enjoying every moment at your place. This lovely place is very clean and comfortable. Thanks for everything, specially all of your information provided. It was very useful for us.
My girl is being in love with your place more and more! We will return here for our third time within the next two years. Take care and see you soon!
I LOVE APPLE HOUSE!! (C.)
M., G. and C., Bangkok, Thailand
This was our third time in Apple House. Like before, we enjoyed every minute of our stay. Thank you very much for all what you have done for us. Our last day was a really special one with the cherry trees in full bloom in the Philosopher's Path. We have been here the first two times in autumn. This was our first time in spring. Both are great times to visit Kyoto. We are looking forward to be here in lovely Apple House for the fourth time!
C. and G., Belgium
We had a wonderful stay at your lovely house, lulled to sleep by the running water. Kyoto was such a beautiful town to explore and we even spotted a few cherry blossoms. Thank you for your hospitality.
S., M., E. and H., Australia
We really enjoyed spending time here. You have a very special place. Apple House is very comfortable for us. I wish we could stay a few more days.
We brought the snow with us. It is a bit cold outside but in the house, it is cozy. The beds(futon) are very comfortable. Snow storm and the sound of the stream in front of the house - it is peaceful and tranquil. Very nice. Thanks again!
R. and V., L.A., U.S.A.
Thank you very much for a wonderful week in Apple House. It was a great base for exploring Kyoto, and in it we found all we needed as well as a charming and relaxing retreat. Thank you also so much for your assistance with transport; most appreciated! We now know where we will stay while in Japan.
Thank you for your warm hospitality, ensuring our stay easy and memorable
V. Family, Denmark and Indonesia
Thank you for a lovely stay in Apple House! We had everything that we needed and plan to return here next time we visit Kyoto.
R. and P., Wales, UK
Happy New Year!
We loved bringing in the new year in Kyoto - seeing everyone in their traditional Kimono at the temples; watching the monks ring the bell at Chion-in Temple; eating red bean fish dish as our first food!
Coming back to Apple House every day was like coming back to a home away from home. Thank you for your helpfulness and hospitality. Definitely we hope to return in the future!
The C. Family, Australia
We enjoyed our stay at Apple House. The neighbourhood is lovely and the house has everything that we needed. Next time, we will stay longer. And thank you for arranging mild weather, blue skies and clean air. Our Beijing lungs are in heaven!
The retro tram is a must!!
M., A., S. and E., Germany and Canada, living in Beijing, China
My girlfriend and I had four wonderful days at the Apple House. Actually we liked it so much that we put off all our long distance traveling plans and indulged ourselves in the local attractions. We found a very nice sweet store on the first day and have been back there a couple of times. It can be found under www.ichijoji-nakatani.com and can be reached by bike within 10 minutes.
We rode along the river down to the city centre and back, took a stroll through Nara Park, fed the deer, took a hot spring bath in Kurama, rode over to Takaragaike Park, walked from Kibune-guchi Station up to Kibune Shrine and over Kurama Mountain to Kurama Station, had countless bowls of udon noodles and countless pieces of cakes... time went by so fast. We experienced rainy, sunny, cloudy and chilly days. We will be back soon....
T. and K., Switzerland and Thailand
Thank you so much for your kind hospitality. We have had a wonderful ten-week stay and have fallen in love with Japan again.
R.and S., Portugal
We really enjoyed spending three weeks here - not long enough! The house was more than expected - comfortable and having all the necessities. Thank you for your help and hospitality. We loved it here!!
A. and S, Chicago, U.S.A.
You were an exceptional host, picking us and our luggage up during a thunder storm and giving us so much information on not only the house, but the whole area and city. We have loved being in this gorgeous little house - so compact and cute - and living amongst a real community instead of staying at a sterile hotel. After the first time, we worked out the way to the bus stop. So close to everything, Apple House is a genuine treasure. I hope that on my next visit to Japan, I can stay here again. There is not one bad thing I could say! I love it!! (L.)
I absolutely loved staying at your lovely home! It was more of a home than a house with all your personalized touches from your apple decorations to all your directions, maps and information you provided. I appreciated being in a traditional Japanese house, but above all, I appreciated your personal help. You truly made us feel at home. Someday, I would love to return to the Apple House and would highly recommend it to others. (E.)
L., Caines, Australia and E., Boulder, CO., U.S.A.
We really enjoyed our stay at your Apple House. You are a wonderful and attentive host, and your attention to detail pays off - we were in a different world; an apple universe! We wish you well and hope that many more guests will get to enjoy a taste of Kyoto Apple!
T. and H., New Zealand
What an enjoyable stay! Thank you for the comfort and your kindness! We loved Apple House!!
This place is quite comfy! I would rate this house 10/10 on happiness and comfort!!
C., A., S. and E., U.S.A.
Thank you very much for an enjoyable stay at the Apple House. Our family had a blast biking around the neighborhood and exploring the local area. Thank you very much for your hospitality. We hope to come back in the future.
Hello! I am your personal healthcare companion! On a scale of 1-10, I rate the Apple House a 10 in terms of safety and the awesome house!! I love this quiet place! (K.)
J., H. and K., U.S.A.
Thank you for enabling us to have a wonderful and outstanding honeymoon/first vacation! We loved everything about the Apple House, despite how little time we spent there (and these futons gave us the best solid sleep we've had in a long time)! Your maps and guides were invaluable to us as we figured out how to navigate Kyoto and the surrounding area. Nara was wonderful (even though that deer did bite me!) and we loved the monkey park in Arashiyama. With all our trips and walking and biking around town, I'm certain we covered upwards of 60km by foot and bike. We always looked forward to coming back at the end of the day and soaking in the bath tub. The next time we come this way, you can expect a call from us!
Advise! Get good shoes and explore! Take time to learn the bus and train systems and you will never run out of things to do! Eat one of everything!
S. and S., U.S.A.
Our three weeks here in the Apple House have been wonderful, and we are so sad that our time here is ending. Thank you so much for bringing us toys - it really helped our children feel at home. We also loved being so close to Takaragaike Park (especially the playground!). We appreciated you arranging the visit for K. to Shugakuin Elementary - it was a good experience for her, and I think she will always remember it.
Some other highlights for our family were visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine, eating matcha soft serve ice cream in Uji, climbing to the monkey park in Arashiyama, visiting the Osaka Aquarium, eating Muten Kura kaiten shushi (this is a chain of conveyor belt sushi restaurants that is perfect for kids), and renting kimonos for the kids at Yumeyakata (near Gojo and Kawaramachi). Thank you for your hospitality and we look forward to returning!
D., K., K., R. and S., U.S.A.
Thanks again for your hospitality and the opportunity to return to Apple House for a sixth visit(!!!). Despite the April rain this year, it's been a wonderful story. Lovely to catch up with your lovely boys and to share a little time with you all. We finally managed to reach Inari Shrine and Tofukuji Temple - both wonderful and worth the trip. We also managed to use the no.65 bus properly this time (to and from Qanat) and walked to Sai-To from the ropeway station before lunching at the Garden Museum on its first day of the season. As a few people have observed, the Kaleidoscope Museum is fabulous, and even the rain was fun.
So, as always, many thanks and best wishes. We hope to see you either here or in Sydney soon!
R., M. and T., Sydney, Australia
Thank you so much for letting us stay in your Apple House over the (wet!) Easter weekend. It has been wonderful for me to come back to Kyoto after over 20 years and to stay in a (somewhat) familiar neighbourhood. Something new and something old.
Thanks again for your hospitality in your house - it really did remind me of the Ninja House in Kita-oji, though in somewhat better condition! We really hope to be able to host you in Sydney some day soon! Jaa Mata ne!
A. and S., Sydney, Australia
Thank you so much for allowing us to stay at Apple House. It made for a convenient and comfortable stay in Kyoto. It was really great to be able to cook breakfast before heading out to exploring Kyoto. At the end of a packed day, we looked forward to the Japanese futons on the Tatami mats. We all slept better than we did at the hotel in Tokyo! Although our visit is rather short and packed, staying at Apple House made us feel we are going at a more relaxed pace, the experience was definitely more authentic!
Thank you for bringing us to the grocery store on the first night. Our son was not feeling 100% and having something to eat that night was so helpful. Very much appreciated. The kitchen was great for making fresh ginger-garlic tea to help us stay healthy. The heating kept the whole house warm, cozy, very comfortable - they were easy to operate.
On our last night, I took the path towards the mountain and it was a treat to see it! I wish our stay was longer, so we could have taken longer walks and explore Kyoto more. I am already thinking of coming back. We love Japan, Kyoto in particular. When that time comes, it will be back to Apple House!! Thank you for responding very promptly to all the emails, and for the map with a note for the taxi driver. Thank you so much again and best wishes to you and your family.
R., C., M. and D., San Francisco, U.S.A.
Although our visit to Kyoto was quite short, too short, we really enjoyed our stay at Apple House and discovering just a little of what this lovely city has to offer.
Apple House is so comfortable and clean, it is a pleasure to come back to after a day of wandering around the city. And the resources you've provided in terms of maps, lists of restaurants, etc. are extremely useful and made finding our way round that much easier.
Our girls loved the origami you made for them - such a nice surprise waiting for them at the end of a long, tiring day. We very much hope we'll be able to return one day for a longer stay in Kyoto, at Apple House.
M.,A., C. and T., U.S.A. living in Shanghai
We would like to let you know how much we have enjoyed staying at Apple House. It has been a most wonderful few days (far too short!) and we would like to thank you greatly for making our first visit to Japan so special. We will return!
We can highly recommend the Fish Bowl cocktail bar in Kyoto centre for first time British people or English speaking people. We had a great time there and were able to share our experiences so far whilst hearing other people's adventures!
C. had an excellent birthday. We went to the Fox Shrine on Inari Mountain. So awesome! Sad to be leaving but inspired by this beautiful place and friendly community. See you again sometime!
C. and K., Scotland
The Apple House is truly a treasure of Kyoto. We were so happy everyday to come home to rest in the Apple House after a long day's adventure! We enjoyed exploring the neighbourhood, smiling and greeting the lovely locals. We tried the Hida restaurant on our first night. It was very delicious and we were able to communicate with a kind young man at the restaurant. We are always amazed at how well mannered everyone is in Kyoto and Japan. I've tried to count how many times they say "Arigato" during our every encounter. They always make us feel so welcome!
Thank you very much for your hospitality, Hiroko! And thank you for checking the stove for me the other day. It really gave me a peace of mind for the rest of that day. OOKINI!
T. and H., New Zealand
As others have said before us, the Apple House is fantastic! Our family of four ate well, slept well and lived deeply into neighborhood life in Kyoto. We rode the bicycles you provided and easily rented two more at Emusica (one a child-size with helmet), the company you recommended. We rode up and down the river to downtown several times. We rode to a great large supermarket in the basement of a department store, Qanat (it also advertises a McDonald's, so you can see it easily from the river path). We went for amazing Ramen at Kitayama Ramen - as you suggested on the map. The English language menu was very helpful. The Gyoza - Japanese dumplings were also amazing. They even helped us park our bicycles.
For future guests - if you would like a Tea Ceremony workshop/experience, contact Tea Ceremony Room Ju-an. We also learned how to be Samurai at Samurai Kembu. The masters and teachers were so kind and amazing in their talent. We all participated in a light lesson program with costume and demonstration.
There was much more we enjoyed in Kyoto - even dressing up in Kimono in Gion. And coming home day or night was always a pleasure. Apple House, you cared for us well!
D., L., J. and R., U.S.A.
Thank you for allowing us to stay in your lovely Apple House. We haven't had any problems getting around due to number 5 bus! We have walked a lot, first day into Gion as we were so happy to be back in Japan and didn't want to miss a thing. Every night we have soaked in the bath to soothe our tired muscles! It has been lovely to come 'home' each evening, pick up dinner at Fresco's and relax in the quiet of your cosy house. Being from tropical Australia, the brief fall of snow was very exciting! If we return to Kyoto, we will certainly come back!
S. and D., Australia
Thank you for sharing your wonderful place with us. We had an amazing time in Kyoto! Everyday, knowing that we had the little Apple House waiting for us was comforting and made us extremely happy.
You helped us not only with the Apple House but also with ideas and knowledge of the Japanese culture. We truly appreciate everything you did for us! It made our trip in Japan more enjoyable.
The kids loved the bicycles and they had a lot of fun riding them! And after cold evenings, the heated blankets were the most satisfying thing you could possibly have! We will keep all the origamis that are so carefully folded and made for us! Thank you.
The L. family, Canada
We have absolutely loved our time in Kyoto, which was made all the more special by our new home-away-from-home. We have loved living in your "Apple House". We have loved exploring the neighbourhood and greeting the neighbours. We have loved riding the bikes to the bakery every morning for fresh bread. We have loved the daily bus pass and the ever faithful number 5 bus. We have loved getting lost in the hills behind Apple House and then finding ourselves on familiar pathways again. We have loved having our own private "onsen" to soak our weary bodies in after a long day exploring. We have loved discovering the best flea markets ever (Kobo-san on the 21st and Tenjin-san on the 25th) and browsing the Shotengai that criss cross the downtown area. Most of all, we have loved knowing you, Hiroko, was just a text/email/phone call away if we needed some advice. We also loved all the origami pieces. Thank you for such beautiful gifts.
We are already talking about the things we could do "next time" we stay in Apple House. Thank you, Hiroko. We will see you for our next visit to Kyoto.
E.H., J.C., O.C. and L.C., Cairns, Queensland, Australia
We are on our last day of our Japan trip and I can say that this has been the best family trip we have had thanks in large part to our stay at Apple House which has become our home away from home. A bigger thanks is to both Hiroko and David for your hospitality and graciousness. When we come back to Kyoto, we will most definitely stay at Apple House rather than staying at a hotel downtown.
We have also fallen in love with the community feel of Shugakuin and for a few days, felt as if we were locals from Kyoto!
Thank you for your help in finding a helmet store and arranging for a discount: you are simply the best.
A tip to the travelers staying at Apple House ~ Try the Chinese restaurant near the tram station!
P., J., E. and E., Manila, Philippines
Thank you so much for letting us stay at Apple House. Our experience in Kyoto has been amazingly smooth and pleasant, thanks to the wonderful accommodation here.
Not only has the location of Apple House been convenient in terms of accessing public transport, shopping facilities and tourist attractions, but the amenities were also excellent and easy to use.
We are incredibly grateful for your warm welcome and hospitality in picking us up and explaining the local attractions. It has made this stay in Kyoto an unforgettable one. We would have no hesitations to recommend Apple House to others, and look forward to our next stay!
J., M., C. and L., Australia
Well, our stay was certainly short, only 2.5 days, but it was sweet. Your charming Apple House was a wonderful place to stay while we caught up with our son, who lives in Kanazawa. Kyoto is stunning at this time of the year. Thanks for all your help and kindness.
J., D. and M., Calgary, Canada and Kanazawa
After our 14-day stay last year, we were so happy to stay this year in Apple House even 3 days longer; 17 wonderful days. We enjoyed the good weather, the great autumn colours "Momiji", the friendly neighbours and our daily trips to the city of Kyoto and its vicinity.
Our highlights and not to be missed are: (1) Arashiyama - Don't miss the Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple, where 8,000 stone images are crammed. Here abandoned bones of paupers were gathered. 100 meters before this temple, at the left side, is a small shop with well made images of animals. The very friendly shopkeeper makes them from silk cocoons! Very nice souvenirs for a really good price. (2) A full day trip to the city of Nara. (3) The Kibune-Kurama area. (4) The out of this world Fushimi Inari Shirine. (5) The Imperial Villa of Katsura. (6) The garden of Eikando Temple.
Once again, we like to thank Hiroko for all what she has done for us, her great hospitality and her true kindness. Please read what the Thai girl wrote about her in the comment below!
We are so happy that we can come back in March 2016, 16 months from now. We can't wait! We are looking forward to be in Apple House for the third time! With best wishes!
C. and G., Belgium
Even though I have to go, I will return here when I grow up (13 years to go!) I think you are the kindest person in the world. I hope you will remember me as I love you. I love you and I won't forget you, Hiroko! Thank you for the origami. With love from C.
Thanks very much for everything. We feel safe and relaxed here. This is the best place during autumn; very colorful! We will be here again. Promise!! Truly, M.
G., M. and C., Thailand
Thank you for making our stay here so warm and comfortable. We love Apple House and this beautiful picturesque corner of Kyoto. Your advice and guidance were spot on and the Gluten Free menu card was invaluable.
Words cannot describe this awe-inspiring, world breaking holiday. Truly memorable and fantastic. So for those yet to taste this magical part of the East, here are our top tips;
~ Recommend the Kurama-Kibune walk. Lovely and tranquil at this time of the year and only a train ride upto the mountains from Shugakuin.
~ If you happen to be around for any of the festivals, GO!! They are worth it just for the atmosphere.
~ We used the buses a lot (day cards from 7-11). We also used the ICOCA cards a lot with the trains and subway. But for 4 of us, taxis were good value for the occasional trips. 1,700 JPY from here to Gion.
M., S., I. and J., England
We just want to say it was a great privilege and blessing to stay in your home for 6 nights. Being close to the station with access to the Keihan Line was an added bonus. We really enjoyed being able to visit places such as Kurama and Mt.Hiei.
Thank you for sharing your comprehensive tourist information. Although we did not make use of the No.5 bus, we recommend it as a useful way to get around, particularly if you want to visit the Silver Temple (Ginkakuji) and the Philosophers Walk. The Tofukuji Temple is also worth visiting.
It has been great living in a quiet neighbourhood in a home that provides excellent and comfortable facilities. You have really made our holiday most enjoyable and thank you so much for your kind hospitality.
J. and G., Melbourne, Australia
We thought, and now know, that we were so lucky being able to stay at Apple House! With 7 & 9 year olds, we loved having some space for all of us to relax and rejuvenate prior to or following our long hot days of sightseeing in intriguing Kyoto!
Thank you, Hiroko, for the meet and greet at the station; so welcoming after our journey in Hokkaido.
Many thanks for the kindness you have shown towards our children. They love, love, love your origami!
We hope to visit Apple House again one day....
S., B., R. and H., Brisbane, Australia
What a wonderful and comfortable experience we had at the Apple House! We're a little surprised we have to leave - we've begun to think we actually live here! The location, the many little extra touches (providing toilet paper, basic cooking ingredients (salt and soy sauce), etc., etc., made us feel immediately at home. The beds are comfy, the water hot, the bikes a teat on a fall day.....really there wasn't anything we didn't have.
THANK YOU for making the first leg of our retirement trip perfect - and we are off to Bali. What a hard act to follow! (C.)
Thank you SO MUCH for the wonderful time! I feel so lucky that you let us stay in your delightful Apple House! Even after I get back to Colorado, I will continue to wish you and your family all the best. (N.)
N. and C., Colorado, U.S.A.
Thank you for providing such a wonderful house and amazing support. It was wonderful to have the bikes to ride down to the tram and supermarket. We loved the fresh and cheap tuna and salmon sashimi!
J. and C., Matamata, New Zealand.
What a delight to spend these past 2 weeks here at the Apple House; wonderful, spacious, quiet home away. The house itself is even nicer than the photos on the Internet. My third trip to Japan! Being in this northeastern side of Kyoto was fabulous! Easy access to Ohara, Shugakuin, Shisendo and Daitokuji. The walk back from either train or bus line was always a great way to end the day, leaving the city behind. Always a comfort to be greeted by the sound of running water and the view of Mt. Hiei. Many thanks! (H.)
Thanks to you, I have enjoyed 2 weeks of relaxing time. I would love to come back again in the future! Thank you very much! (S.)
S. and H., San Francisco, U.S.A.
Thank you very much for making our trip so special. We have spent 2 weeks (May 28 to June 13) in this house and we felt very comfortable and welcome. It was like a second home. We enjoyed the quiet neighbourhood, waking up to the sound of water and walking to the peaceful nearby parks.
Special thanks to Hiroko for picking us up and returning us to Matsugasaki Station, cleaning the linens and for putting the local directory together. It really helped us to re-acquaint ourselves with the area.
We would like to come back to Japan again and would not hesitate to stay here again.
We will recommend your place to other voyagers! Thank you!
P., E., J. and E., Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.
Well, it has been busy 5 days here in lovely Kyoto made ever more special by staying here at your most special house. We have enjoyed every minute! The house has become our 'home from home' and all the amenities and thoughtful touches have been provided. We especially appreciated the helpful "Welcome to Apple House" guide with the useful suggestions for places to eat and the local transit information. The nearby 'town centre' certainly has everything one could hope for from post office and drug store to bakery and even a bending machine for 'Asahi" beer! For an easy lunch or dinner at home, we can pick up tasty ready-meals of sushi and Chinese food entrees at the local Fresco shop. The number 5 bus became our friend and an easy passage to downtown, many of the temples and shrines and, of course, the famous Philosopher's Walk - not be to missed.
A trip highlight for us was the short, 30 minutes train journey to Kurama.
This charming village offers a lovely hike up to temples and shrines, all admired moss-covered magic of Japan - right out of the picture postcards! Not to be missed and if you are tired on the way back, cheat a little and take the short cable car for 100 Yen.
We slept like angels each night on your comfy tatami mats and futons - lulled to sleep by the babbling stream beside our window. Sweet dreams of Kyoto and Apple House will bring us back again we hope.
Sincere thanks again for a true Japanese experience!
M.J. and M.O., Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
We just want to say thank you for the lovely stay. The house was wonderful and all the assistance you provided was extraordinary! Kyoto is a wonderful place and if we ever come back you will be the first people we call for a place to stay! Thank you!
P., V. and D., U.S.A.
My stay here has been so short. What a wonderful opportunity to stay in an authentic traditional house and neighborhood. S. and I enjoyed so many adventures here in Japan and I instantly learned the route to the no.5 bus! The area is charming and I enjoyed the house thoroughly. Thank you for all your efforts to make us welcome and comfortable. (E.)
Thank you so much for allowing us to use Apple House. We loved it! The walks all around are really interesting and we have met many of the neighbours and their dogs. I don't know which day was the best; we were lucky enough to go to local festivals, see a Mikoshi wagon, ride the cable car, visit the Silver Pavilion again which is one of my favourites, the gardens are wonderful.
Apple House really is a great location, hop on the number 5 bus and you can just about go everywhere.
We managed to visit Hiroshima, Takayama and Nara; so easy using a JR rail pass and daily bus ticket.
Food around here was great; please try Ffoodelica for great service, salad, pastas, French wine, or the Udon noodle shop just one bus stop away but a really easy walk.
Could Apple House improve? NOT REALLY. It has everything you could possibly want.
Thank you, Hiroko, for picking me up at the station. I hope to come again. (S.)
E., NY, the USA and S., Australia
We've reached the last night of our always-too-brief stay in this haven. A wonderful dinner at Hida has been a reminder of how much Shugakuin has become part of our lives. Ms. H. gave us a small gift - a protector of children for T., who lost her first tooth there in 2010 and celebrated her tenth birthday there just a few weeks ago and is now taller than Ms. H.
Mrs. S. popped by with a gift of food for tomorrow's journey, and we've found ourselves wishing again for a little more time!
We finally made it to the Botanical Garden (just past the prime of Sakura, but already the camellias are a joyous exuberance, the tulips a wave of pleasure and the azaleas promise a burst of colour in the coming weeks.)
We also managed to negotiate the North8 bus and added Heian Jingu Shrine to the pleasures Kyoto has shared with us. A sublime chance discovery was the Kyoto Organic Tea House which makes wonderful chocolate in Okazaki.
We also used a 3-day Kansai Thru Pass this time (5,200 Yen) and managed to use it well to get as far as Kishi in Wakayama (where Tamba is the Station Master Cat!) as well as Uji and Nara. We worked out also that we could have used the pass to get to Hieizan Garden Museum and Enryaku-ji temples via the Sakamoto Cable Car and the Tozai Line. I wasn't sure it would be good value, but with a little planning it was great.
I started this holiday with a little work in a conference and have ended with a new project that I hope will bring us all back to Kyoto in 12 months - and hopefully bring some of my Kyodai colleagues to Sydney before the end of 2014.
Hopefully you and David will also find an opportunity to come to Sydney before too long. Thanks again for your kindnesses, care and friendship - all are greatly appreciated and highly treasured. (R.)
By now you must know we love staying at Apple House (5th time!), so we hope to come back and visit you both once again.
Many thinks for your help, guidance and your friendship. Looking forward to seeing you all in Sydney. Very best wishes. (M.)
Thank you once again for your kind hospitality. We have managed to do so many things this trip and one of the delights was St. Marc's. The bread was to die for. It was nice to meet the boys again and wish them well at school. Until next time good bye. Take care. Best wishes. (P.)
We had a wonderful time! I really liked the hot bath! I LOVE the very 'steepy' stairs up to the bedroom! I'm going to miss the shopping mall "Qanat", too! See ya! Hugs! (T.)
R., M., P. and T., Sydney, Australia
It's been a nice stay and we've got all the amenities we needed (and many more we didn't need).
Fairly convenient with the no. 5 bus.
We always like a "home" away from home and the Apple House could give me this "home" feeling".
Very quiet sleeping environment and we slept really well even the first night when we were supposed to be jet-lagged!
Just wish we had more time to explore more places this time but there is always a next time when it comes to traveling!
Thanks for your info and a nice place for a 3-day "home"!
J., W. and J., San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
After five nights in this lovely home away from home, I am loathe to leave it. What a pleasure it was to have a kitchen to cook in while on vacation, and even better, neighbours to greet 'Konnichiwa!' to. I hope to explore the sights close at hand on my next stay at Apple House and I am sure that there will be one. A deceptively non-central location turned out to be one. This was a very convenient place to be situated in, especially for our great first day doing the short and scenic hike from Kibune to Kurama, full of nature, culture, and with a hot spring (onsen) at the end. Really a Kyoto side-trips 'must' in my books, as is a stay at your delightful Apple House. Sincerely,
L.W., Ruskin, B.C., Canada
Thank you for your friendliness, helpfulness and attention to detail in Apple House has made a potentially exhausting vacation traveling with a 5-year old very comfortable.
Apple House has been our clean, well-equipped and comfortable oasis amidst the busyness of temple-hopping, Sakura-chasing (hanami would be too meek a term for what we were doing!) and cajoling of a small child (and a 35-year old man with blisters!!).
I'm surprised to see Apple House as described as 'out of the way'. While it's nestled in a quiet atmospheric Japanese neighbourhood, it is a mere 5-minute walk from the no. 5 bus, which runs every 10 minutes and takes you to most of the major sites in the Higashiyama area. It's a 10-minute walk to the train station, which sets you up for an easy access to several side-trips in the greater Kyoto area.
Apple House is an excellent choice for families who need to travel at their own pace. I'm always confused when people choose to stay in characterless hotels!
Our recommendations: (1) Shoren-in (beautiful garden to look at while drinking matcha, especially if there is a 'light up' in the evening. )
(2) Gio-ji (atmospheric moss temple in Arashiyama ) (3) Konchi-in (serene Zen garden)
M., C. and L., Cape Town, South Africa (living in Sapporo, Japan)
We had a wonderful time in Apple House. We're going somewhere that I've forgotten. But I don't want to leave here because I love this place! I loved the steepy stairs to the bedroom upstairs! I wish I had steepy stairs back at Australia in my real home. We'll see you again soon! (T. age 10)
Thank you once again for giving us the opportunity to spend time in Apple House. It has only been for a short time, but we will be back again very soon to see some more of the beautiful city. (P.)
I'm coming back! I love it here! (M.)
Almost exactly five years of Apple House guests and here we are at the last page of the first book of comments. Somehow I feel like I am speaking (mmm......writing) on behalf of everyone who has been blessed not just by the joys and comforts of the wonderful Apple House, but also the joys and gifts of Hiroko's generosity and inspiring guidance and support for visitors to Kyoto.
At the end of our fourth stay here, I can say that we've enjoyed every moment and are already looking forward to the next visit.
T. has done some important growing up here since spending two months at the school in 2010 - and we've all managed to enjoy the changing seasons, the changing city and the chance to find ourselves gaping at beautiful things thanks to Hiroko and David.
Best wishes for safe and joyous travels always. (R.)
P., R., M. and T., Sydney, Australia
The Apple House is in a nice, out of the way neighborhood, (reminded me of a movie scene!) It's very quiet at night, so makes sleeping easy. The house is a short 5 minute walk to the bus stop or a short bike ride from the subway station. We really appreciated having two bikes at our disposable to ride. The house is well stocked and comfortable. There are a number of good restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance. We really appreciated being picked up and dropped off at the subway station, especially since it was pouring rain! Hiroko was very helpful and timely in getting back with all request. Can't go wrong when booking the Apple House.
M. and T., U.S.A.
We truly enjoyed our stay at your lovely home (even though S. (2m tall) kept bumping his head!)
It served as a perfect location to enjoy a long due vacation and as a base to visit the area.
Take care! Thank you! Merci! Tak! (Danish)
S., J. and L., Denmark/Belgium and Canada
Looks like we are your second Canadian family in a week!
Thank you very much for your warm hospitality, your immaculate and comfortable house in which we felt refreshed and clean for the next day of adventure in Kyoto and Nara.
A., M., L. and J., Ottawa, Canada
Thank you so much for the hospitality and your wonderful house! Such a nice way to see and experience the splendors of Kyoto!
Highlights: Fushimi Inari Shrine (we counted 3,272 torii gates!), trail runs up Mt. Hiei ~ feels like you are miles from the city! Nijo Castle and the Monkey Park.
But surely all of our highlight was staying in such a wonderful, warm, well-equipped house! Thanks again!
D., D. and N., Ontario, Canada
Thank you so much for the warm hospitality you have shown us during our stay in Apple House.
Both of us have stayed in apartments across Europe and Japan these last four months but none have been as satisfying as Apple House.
It has been excellent waking up every day, and returning each evening, to this little paradise away from the hustle and bustle of Kyoto (and its tourists).
All the very best to you for 2014!
T. and K., Australia
Thanks for a great stay in Kyoto. The Apple House was such a pleasure to have for our short stay.
Thank you for the taxi service to and from the train station.
Kyoto is such a charming city to explore and the Apple House only compliments an experience we will long remember.
S., R., T. and S., Australia
We had a great stay in Apple House. A place that we can blend in the experience of Japanese living and culture.
We had enjoyed getting groceries for home cooked meals. Everything is fresh; strawberries, oysters, poultry and many more.
Visiting the nearby shrines is very convenient, but entering the imperial palace requires a pass, which we did not have. We may try visiting there perhaps in our next visit to Kyoto.
Cycling around the compounds is a wonderful experience!
F.C.K. and family, Singapore
Apple House was a home away from home. We had an amazing stay.
Make sure you check out the Monkey Park! And make sure you check train times every day! We had a train timetable but the actual train departure times were different....
S., H., E. and T., Brisbane, Australia
We couldn't imagine a better place to stay!
Thank you for the bicycles!!
M. and C., Chicago, U.S.A.
How many times did we say to you, "Arigato Gozaimasu"?! All the information you gave did mean a lot for us and made our 2 weeks in Kyoto a time we will never forget.
Every evening, after another day of exploring fascinating Kyoto, we arrived in Apple House with a (silent, this is Japan!) yell, "we're home!"
And the magic blue bath: what a splendid Japanese invention! The sound of the river made a comfortable sleep!
As we find 2 weeks in Kyoto too short and liked Apple House so much, our conclusion was made quickly: we will come back in 11 months!!
C. and G., Belgium
Thank you so much for letting me stay in your wonderful Apple House, and for taking such good care of me. Every time I came up out of Matsugasaki Station, I could picture you there waiting for me after my long day of travel to Kyoto. I couldn't stay long enough this trip, but I got to see so many amazing sites.
The gardens were the main reason I came here and they did not disappoint. I haven't ridden a bike in years, but that turned out to be one of my favorite things, even though I got soaked in rain (yes, I should have taken an umbrella - ha ha!). I hope to come back with my Mom and sister at some point, and would definitely want to stay here.
Thank you so much!
J., OR, U.S.A.
We are very grateful to have made the last-minute trip possible and found Hiroko's Apple House. It is such a cozy and sweet traditional Japanese style apartment.
If it weren't for staying at this place, we would never have made the trips to Mt. Hiei, Kurama, Kibune and the Shugakuin Imperial Villa. We totally enjoyed the amazing, natural and true Kyoto-style living.
Hiroko is a very gracious host; thanks to her for helping us with the reservation to Saihoji. The Saihoji experience was a truly memorable one; we enjoyed it very much.
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu! We will definitely come back to Apple House when we revisit Kyoto.
K., California, U.S.A. and M.Y., Taipei, Taiwan
We are so happy we found this place! We were excited to live in a real Japanese house since we are from Chicago! It was very comfortable. We were surprised how on time the bus/trains ran, so that was cool. Also K. loved the vending machines!
We also went to Nara and saw the Todaiji Temple and that was amazing! We also went to Fushimi Inari Shrine. So much walking and lots of climbing!
Overall, you made a start to our Japanese trip and really had us motivated to do more and be one like Japanese! Haha! Arigato!!
K., P., R. and S., Chicago, U.S.A.
We are so glad we found Apple House on VRBO/Homeaway. The experience of staying in a Japanese style house (with all the comforts) added so much to our stay in Kyoto. It was a great home away from home.
Your hospitality, your attention to detailed instructions, your explanation of top sites to see and locations of easy to get to stores and transport - all ensured our visit to Kyoto was the very best it could be. We loved your city! Thanks for caring.
I. and L., U.S.A.
Thank you so much for providing a home away from home. You have been so helpful in teaching us how to live like a Japanese! Thank you for the many tips on where to go, where to eat and shop. It's always a relief each day, we are coming home from a day's walk.
This is our first taste of Japan ( Kyoto in particular), and we will always cherish the days we have been here. We had a great family bonding (someone in charge of cooking, washing the dishes, washing clothes, making our beds).
Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness.
Arigato, TOMODACHI (friends), for your hospitality! Cheers!
B., S., E. and I., Manila, Philippines
By staying in Apple House, I have had the proper Japanese experience.
Thank you so much, Hiroko, for making wonderful origami for me! I will have to remember to put the stars on my Christmas tree this year.
The rules with what you have got to do in the bathroom is very different to Australia! I have learnt a few Japanese words while I have been here. Thank you so much for letting us live in Apple House. (Z.)
Apple House has been a perfect home-away-from-home for us for almost a month. I really appreciated all the thoughtful extras - the maps and information, books, DVDs and CDs. The house is perfectly located - close to everything, but still in a quiet neighbourhood. I will miss the sound of the running water lulling me to sleep each night. Thank you for your help with all of our requests to find things. It was great to know that you were always available on email.
Thanks also for your kindness to Z.; she loved your origami! Warm regards (M.)
D., M. and Z., Australia
Third time at Apple House and it is every bit as good as it was the first time. Still lots of places to see and things to do. A visit to the Imperial Villa is a must for every visitor. It is beautiful. Thank you, Hiroko and family, for being great hosts. (P.)
We've been back for just a couple of weeks and I've added a few delights that I hadn't previously found - Maruyama Park and parts of Gion. A conference of geographers at the Conference Centre..... and all that summer heat!! Thanks so much for letting us stay into the summer heat. Apple House's warmth was revealed in new ways - not just the heat but the happiness that grows here. I wish it were longer - even in the heat!! (R.)
Many thanks for letting us stay at Apple House. As we walked into the house, it was like returning home! I suppose the fact we have returned to Apple House for the third time has got something about "returning home". This is our first summer in Kyoto, and I have to say it was hot and humid. I still love it here. Hope to see you very soon! (M.)
Thank you for letting us stay in Apple House. Well, we went everywhere, it was so good! But the thing is, I like it home. I say "Home sweet home!". I like my own Japanse things to see. I love Apple House because it gives me more time! I didn't want to go to Tokyo and return to Australia, because here in Kyoto was so fun!!! (T.)
P., R., M. and T., Sydney, Australia
Thank you so much for all you have done for us and for your lovely Apple House. From the moment you met us at the station till the time we left, our Japanese experience has even fabulous. A wonderful adventure and many surprises! We have even become seasoned train travelers!
Many thanks for your warm hospitality.
M., S. and H., Hertfordshire, England
It was great staying in Kyoto and in Apple House. The house is lovely, just what I wanted to stay in while in Japan. Kyoto was also very awesome. The castle was amazing and so was the shopping and the vegetarian restaurants were a major plus!
Nijo-jo Castle and the day trip to Nara were my favorites; the nightingale floor was awesome, especially since I've read about in books before. Nara was fun, seeing the deer and the massive Buddhist temple.
For the future guests: I won't say to visit all of the temples, since everyone else in here already has. Go anywhere in Kyoto! It's awesome! Make sure to check out the vegetarian cuisine! (N.)
Downtown Kyoto, I found to be a lot of fun and interesting. Seeing the number of children and women out and about by themselves made it clear just how safe this city is. The people I watched seemed happy. The number of small shops was amazing. The craft was evident, but how is it possible for so many small restaurants to make a living? (P.)
This stay reaffirmed our preference for staying in neighborhoods rather than hotels. Apple House is gorgeous and an inspiration regarding efficient use of space while maintaining beauty. Because of everyone's friendliness, Kyoto has been much, much easier than we expected. We've had no problem finding vegetarian restaurants - the good old Felafel Garden was a great fall back.
We basically walked, browsed, browsed and browsed all over the city, the Lonely Planet in one hand, the transportation map in the other - which meant we got to see all the normal sights but frequently tripped out those on the spot moments that you have to go with. A lady playing the flute on the side of the river, a young man playing the trumpet on the other, etc. Just a lovely, lovely city. (R.)
P., R. and N., Oregon, U.S.A.
The Apple House is a beautiful house to stay in and I like the traditional style of the house; it made me feel like a true Japanese. Inside the house is small but very comfortable. The scenery and the atmosphere here is very different from my home; the air is fresh, the hills are beautiful. The water closet is cool; buttons and automatic stuff are awesome! There is no such water closet back home. The room that I enjoy most is the living room where I can watch Japanese shows and "Pew die pie (he is a famous gamer.)". Thank you for making this an amazing stay.
Thank you for everything. I really like to live here! There are so many apples!
I., J., D. and A., Indonesia
Thank you so much for the opportunity to experience the real Japan. We have loved the hospitality and the neighbourhood and it was so lovely to have somewhere to spread out and play with our two young children. I'm not going to lie - tatami mat beds aren't going to replace our mattress at home but we loved the experience nonetheless. Thank you again!
D., L., P. and I., Gold Coast, Australia
We enjoyed our stay at the Apple House. It was a very pleasant experience. After getting the 2-day bus/subway pass, we traveled everywhere. I loved going for an early morning run up to the temple and around the neighborhood.
The beds were so comfortable and also the blankets. We enjoyed our living space. Everything was so convenient; gas range, microwave, washing machine, etc. It was fun talking to the neighbors.
We didn't get to ride the bicycles. Next time! Thank you!
K., N., C. and C., California, U.S.A.
Thank you so much for picking us up from the subway! After 10 days of battling trains and subways by yourself, it was nice to have someone meeting you at the other end.
I wanted to come to Japan to celebrate my 30th birthday and I wanted to end in Kyoto. The house was AMAZING and I LOVE the bikes! It was a ton of fun to tour around and see the sights.
We recommend the Kitayama Ramen for dinner, the meal was wonderful and so were the owners. We also recommend Uliuli if you want a really really really good Hawaiian style burger (on Imadegawa St. west of Shirakawa St. You can't miss it, there is a big surf board on the front)!
It took 1 1/2 days to get to Japan and we don't want to go.
S. and A., Alaska, U.S.A.
Thank you so much for the wonderful stay at Apple House! It was such a pleasant change from staying in hotels. Plus, we got to experience Japanese-style living, which is impossible (really) in a hotel. Even though the house is located away from the city center, it was easy to use the bikes, buses and trams to get where we wanted very quickly.
For those visiting, the Philosopher's Path and Fushimi Inari Taisha are must-do's! The most exciting part of our stay in Kyoto (at least for my wife) was seeing 6 Geishas in Gion heading to their evening appointments. Wander the alleyways north of Shijo-dori and west of Yasaka Jinja (~17:00) for the best opportunities to see the Geishas. What beautiful clothes!
The highlight of my visit was attending a Japanese pro baseball game at Koshien Stadium. Although it rained off and on, the crowd was very loud and animated throughout the game! Thanks, Hiroko, for securing the tickets to the game!
We both thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Apple House and Hiroko's hospitality and willingness to help in any situation made our stay a great experience! We hope to travel back to Kyoto in the future and would love to again stay at Apple House!
K. and S., Gilbert, AZ, U.S.A.
Thank you so much for providing such a fantastic residence for us. The home was wonderful with everything we needed available for us. Your meticulous information was very helpful and well used by us.
The Apple House is perfectly located and we easily found our way all over Kyoto as well as to Osaka and Nagoya. Shugakuin has many wonderful food places. We loved stopping in at Fresco for our breakfast ingredients, enjoyed a delicious dinner at Yamago and after a night of watching "Yakitate Japan", found Petit Chambord to provide just the type of breads and pastries we were after.
If we ever come back to the area, we will most certainly return to the Apple House.
There is no better way to start a morning than walking down the street and being greeted by deer!
Thank you again for a wonderful stay.
A., A., A. and J., Sydney, Australia
We have corresponded so much that I feel like you become a friend, even a family member.
We have stayed in a number of rental vacation houses and B&B places around the world. I rate the Apple House on the top rank, mainly because your reliable and prompt response to my question and need, but not interfering.
At the beginning, I was suspicious about the location of Apple House, but quickly we got used to the short walk to the bus station, even learnt to take short cuts. It's also convenient to shop at the grocery stores which was important to us because we cooked most of our breakfast and dinners to deflate the costs. Our "home cooking" actually was much more delicious than meals at the restaurants that often were difficult to order right kinds of dishes because of the language problem.
After one full week of touring many "must see" temples and sites, it was nice to come "home" having a good rest. We enjoyed the train ride to take the hot spring bath at Kurama, which relieved the ache and pain in our feet.
On the last day of our stay in Kyoto, we thought we ran out of exciting places to visit. But we ventured further out to Ohara, visiting Sanzen-in. This was the most beautiful temple in a fascinatingly rural village. Highly recommended place for a day trip.
All in all, we had a terrific experience in Kyoto. Apple House was a major factor for our enjoyable stay.
C.K.L. and K.T., Thailand and C.S.L. and P.Z.L., Taiwan
I came to Japan with my 14-year-old son, who has an all consuming interest in the country. It has been an adventure from the moment we landed. The people especially have been so friendly and kind. The transport system is AMAZING! The food ~ WOW!
Apple House has been perfect for me and my son. The Japanese art has especially interested myself. I will hopefully come back one day with my partner.
L. and S., Glastonbury, U.K.
Three days are not enough in Kyoto, that is for sure, but enough to enjoy how comfortable and quiet, and so clean is your "coquette" Apple House.
We will be back! And we will suggest to our friends this way of living the Japanese experience.
Merci beau coup! Arigatogozaimashita! It was indeed a very "tasty apple"!
G. and P., Quebec, Canada
Our 7- day stay in Kyoto was really amazing, funny, full of things to do and places to visit, which are all breathtaking.
As we thought, the full bloom Sakura trees are a wonderful view and spring is the best season to enjoy Kyoto's beautiful landscapes.
We are the first Italians to stay in Apple House (but not the last ones!) and we wish we could live here all year long!!
Grazie per la bella esperienza!
I., E., B. and S., Italy
The house is very comfortable and we felt that we were having a slice of Japanese life by living there.
Our Kyoto high points (apart from seeing our daughter after more than 6 months) were the golden temple, imperial palace and (even more so) the imperial villa and gardens just up a road (I can't believe they don't charge for the latter 2). Strolling around cherry blossom was was fantastic and I can understand why Japanese people are so enthusiastic about it at this time of the year.
S., E., A. and L., England
Thank you for letting us stay in Apple House. The breakfast you got us was very nice. We enjoyed staying here with all the 'apples' and hope we can come again. (A.)
Thank you so much for everything. Picking us up from the station and getting breakfast for us was very thoughtful and we appreciate it very much. We have had a great time and it is so good to be able to return to a home and have a comfortable sleep. The boys have been reading all your books. We love your recommendations and we went to Musashi, the sushi restaurant, twice. God bless!
K., A., A. and A., Perth, Australia
Firstly, thanks for tracking down my lost camera!!! (For other readers, I left my camera on the Shinkansen. It was handed in. What an amazing country!)
We have really enjoyed our time here. The house has everything. We will be recommending Apple House to friends.
Two places that we would recommend are;
(1) Kyoto Handicraft Centre - great books in English and lots of top souvenirs.
(2) Yoramu Sake tasting bar (Nijo- dori, Nakagyo-ku)
L., S. and J., Australia
We had a lovely visit in Kyoto in this, the off season.
Happy to miss the crowds and enjoyed the tranquility of some of the less known temples.
Loved the tofu varieties around and we enjoyed being able to cook at home. We loved the bikes and highly recommend straying from the main roads - lots of great paths to explore (and safer, less chance of taking out pedestrians!)
We have only scratched the surface on our first visit to Kyoto and look forward to a return!
T. and D., Oakland, California
Thank you for welcoming us to Apple House. We had a lovely stay despite snow and rain (very heavy! - the umbrellas were essential - thank you!)
We loved sight-seeing in Kyoto but didn't manage to see as much as we hoped. It was very cold. However, we soon warmed up back at Apple House and it was lovely and cosy here. We loved the Japanese bath - fabulous to soak in the hot water, the electric blankets - slept so well here, Fresco supermarket is great and the 100 Yen shop, too!
Tip for a rainy day; Nishiki Market, p50 of Lonely Planet Kyoto - great fun. The Silver Pavilion is a must see. A fabulous aquarium in Osaka if you want a day out.
We hope to come back!
C., S., J. and F., Taunton, England
Thanks so much for letting us stay at your charming little Japanese home. It was a wonderful experience for us! We had such a great time exploring Kyoto! Thank you!
A., L., S. and G., Sydney, Australia
Our family really enjoyed our stay at the Apple House. Picking us up and dropping us back to the train station and your prompt response to our questions via email were very much appreciated. Traveling with kids, it is important to have 'space' and be able to wash clothes and the Apple House provided! Your advice on transport and things to see was extremely helpful.
We enjoyed a fabulous experience at the Kurama Onsen. We also highly recommend the En Tea Ceremony in Gion. The markets on the 21st at Toji were another highlight. Also, the nightingale floor at Nijo-Jo was just amazing and the kids loved it!
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!
D., K., L. and S., Kiama, Australia
Staying at Apple House has been a treat! I was initially reluctant not to stay in the city centre in a hotel. However, this experience has definitely changed my views!
Thank you, Hiroko, for the hospitality and your patience in taking the time to explain where things are in the neighbourhood, shortcuts to the bus stop and train station on foot/ by bike, good eating places, how things work in the house and how to catch a bus, etc.
Apple House feels like a home. I like how everything is clean and working. Nice touch with the apple theme...so cute...green and red apples!
Tips for future guests re traveling;
- The phrase book may come in handy, especially if you don't speak any Japanese like me, especially to bring to restaurants. (Provided in the house!)
- I haven't ridden a bike for over 10 years. Worthwhile to bike to Fresco. Locals are extremely helpful and friendly generally. They also have been tolerant of my newbie cycling:)
- Lonely Planet Kyoto city guide can be also of use. (In the house as well!) Did the Nightwalk Through the Floating World (p.102)- we would recommend this walk. No.5 Issen Yoshoku is definitely worth trying. We didn't eat at No.4, ate at Kiyamachi St., the first tempura restaurant/inn on the left. We were happy with it.
- Nishiki Market is a must for foodies!
All in all, we loved the whole experience. Apple House has been like icing on the cake...a home away from home...to wind down after the adventures of the day.
A. and F., Sydney, Australia
Our family had a splendid short time here in Kyoto, staying at Apple House!
Thank you so much for your kindness and for the opportunity of staying in a Japanese house.
We'll be back very soon and we intend to stay longer!
M.,T., V. and G., Brazil
We loved our stay in Apple House - it was so cool to stay in a traditional Japanese house.
We dressed warm, made good use of the bikes and managed to find our way around quite well courtesy of the local map. Had a great time exploring the temples and markets and just wish we had longer to see more. Kyoto is such a lovely city.
Thank you so much Hiroko for all your help.
G. and P., New Zealand
Thank you so much for a wonderful stay in Kyoto! The Apple House has been a great place to stay and we have loved coming back every night to sleep on the heated futons! We loved the peaceful neighborhood and the city of Kyoto has been absolutely beautiful. The temples were amazing and the Nishiki Market had all kinds of delicious food!
We wish we could have stayed longer. Thanks again for your hospitality and we wish you all the best!
J., D., P. and F., U.S.A.
Thank you for our wonderful experience of Kyoto. The house, the quiet neighbourhood and your many kindnesses, Hiroko, have been a part of it. We stayed six days and wish we had at least another week.
The house is so convenient to all one could want to see - Shugakuin Imperial Villa is five minutes up the street and just amazing. Fushimi Inari Shrine is also very easy to get to and is lovely for those who like to hike. On the first day we walked to the Silver Pavilion and on to the Higashiyama area and the food market. We caught the reliable No.5 bus back.
The nearby shops and the well thought out kitchen equipment made it lovely to have cosy nights in with our own cooking. Our highlight restaurant meal was the famous old soba restaurant, Honke Owariya near the Imperial Palace.
We hope we can visit again.
A., P. and A., Australia
First and foremost - THANK YOU!! for having us in your beautiful house on such a last minute booking. From the point of our first contact to meeting you for the first time at the station, it has been a hassle-free and delightful experience.
We were able to truly experience the life style of Kyoto people and their hospitality. The house is very convenient, clean and comfy. You have prepared such a wonderful welcome experience for us!
In Malaysia, we will say "SYABAS", meaning well-done. Thank you again for everything.
C., W., W. and L.K., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Thank you for a lovely stay in the Apple House. Being picked up at the station and all the maps and tips made all the difference in our trip to Kyoto.
We loved coming home to this home away from home every day away from the hustle and bustle of busy Kyoto. For those looking for something a little different from the temples and gardens, we enjoyed seeing the monkeys and the Kaleidoscope Museum.
J. and K., Gold Coast, Australia
I had a wonderful stay at Apple House! Although five days isn't nearly long enough to see all that I'd like in Kyoto, I saw so many sights and had a cosy and quiet house to come back to. Apple House has everything I hoped for and more - I was never interested in soaking in a hot bath before, but now I am a convert. I hope I can come back some day in the not-too-distant future and stay longer.
I recommend cycling around and taking a cooking class - that was so much fun. And thank you for the shopping recommendations - the shopping arcades between Sanjo and Shijo Streets were much fun.
J., San Francisco, California
Thank you so much, Apple House! We're so sad we have to leave already. Kyoto was great!!
We only stayed three nights but tried to make the most of it. So much to see, so much to do... so little time.
We hiked to the top of Fushimi Inari Shrine:) I found myself a vintage Kimono & Obi at Chicago in the downtown area!
Apple House rocks!!
C. and J., France and Scotland
We have had such a lovely, although 'too short", stay at the Apple House.
The bikes were just perfect and we cycled everywhere in the last three days. The beds are amazing and I love the entire house.
Thanks so much and I hope one day we will be back.
K. and L., London, UK
Thanks for your hospitality. Thanks for all you did for us. (Booking, gifts and various email communications.) Thanks for the total dumping in the Japanese life.
A cosy nest, which can be little far from the city centre, but that we find with pleasure after a day of discovery in this fabulous city of Kyoto. Kyoto and the Kansai: Magnificent landscapes, magnificent meetings in corners of streets, images of Japan unforgettable (Geisha, Maiko, landscape, etc.).
Thank you again!
J., F. and J., France
We had a wonderful time at Apple House. It was great feeling at home instead of as guests in a hotel. What made the experience great though was your awesome hospitality. Thanks for planning our public transit routes even months before we arrived, and thanks for all of the personal pick up services to and from the train station. These touches really made a big difference!
Many blessings to both you and your family and all future guests of Apple House!
H., M. and E., South Korea
We have had such an amazing time here in Kyoto, and Apple House has been the perfect base for our adventures! It has everything we need and the location is great.
Falling asleep to the sound of the river is lovely and we've had the best night's sleep of our lives on the futons! I only wish our stay here could have been longer. Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality, especially walking up so early on our last day to take us to the Station!
D. and A., London, UK
It has been fabulous to come home to Apple House every night and fall asleep to the sound of the river and the smell of the tatami. We hope that the boys weren't too noisy for the neighbours!
We spent many afternoons playing at Takaragaike park which truly is a children's paradise. Our kids' favourite place was on any train or Kidzania in Koshien. Mine was Kiyomizu and Fushimi Inari Shrine.
See you again some day.
L., T., J. and M., Adelaide, Australia
"Doomo Arigato" We loved Apple House. We find the jog around the Takaragaike Pond from here cira 4 miles of delight. We adopted the local custom of toting an umbrella, helpful in the southern sun or sudden squall.
16 hours by train, Shinkansen, tram and bus to Koyason and back here, or spend the night there, for a mountain top trek. (The monks welcome you.) Hiking the temple triad in Nara inspired awe and the deer delighted us. We visited Kyoto's Golden Pavilion at 4:30pm for a mirror image photo in pond, closing at 5a.m.
The L. Family, Vancouver, WA, U.S.A.
Thank you for a nice stay in Apple House. We are very sad to be leaving. Peter is going to miss Lewis terribly ( he'll have to visit him later on ). They got along splendidly, and thank you so much for making his visit to the elementary school happen.
Apple House is gorgeous, and I love falling asleep to the sound of the river and the smell of the tatami mats. The futons were quite comfy and we all want sliding doors now! We enjoyed both cooking and going out to local restaurants ( Hida and Kitayama Ramen being favorites ). We'd love to visit again some time, Shugakuin is a beautiful and friendly neighborhood.
Our tips and advice:
- Don't be afraid of the little local train. It's easy to use and we went everywhere from it.
- Go visit Osaka! It's about an hour train ride from here and it is VERY different from Kyoto. Especially if you are looking for a break from historical Japan. There is a great aquarium there ( they have a whale shark ).
- Universal Studios Japan is now our favorite amusement park. Don't miss it!
- Don't just go to the restaurants with English menus and don't just follow guide books! You can get by with no Japanese and guide books are biased towards quiet and history, which is very nice, but Japan has a very cool modern society too.
- Our favorite places: The Fox Shrine ( Fushimi Inari ), the International Manga Nuseum, Universal Studios Japan, 7-11 convenience store, the vending machine on our walk home and our neighborhood in the evening!
S., A. and P., U.S.A.
Our stay at Apple House has been wonderful.
Thank you so much for picking us up at the station when we arrived and helping us settle in. We have enjoyed being part of "suburban" Kyoto, if only for a short time. Apple House itself has been great - well equipped - we have appreciated our home in Kyoto!
M. and D., Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia
Thanks so much ..... loved Apple House. It is so peaceful and relaxing at the end of a busy day seeing what we could ( during the three days we had ) here to be able to chill and have the best sleep ever! The running water does add to it.
Highly recommend cycling around! The bus was so handy. We really enjoyed the Philosophers Walk and half way along after sign on the left hand side "Gallery" ( bought a nice print there ) we stopped at this awesome cafe! Inside you sat on tatami mats with a little table where in front of you, you looked out a glass window ( floor - ceiling ) looking out onto a beautiful Japanese garden! My husband recommends getting the Matcha tea ( not sweet, perfect ). I had the chocolate cake ..... couldn't resist.
And another highlight was Gion toward early evening. We saw a "Geiko"/"Maiko" ( apprentice Geisha ) in Gion Corner down a side street.
There are so many things! We loved Kyoto all together and staying here at Apple House definitely made it. We hope to come back again one day!
J. and B., Sydney
We love Apple House, Kyoto and Japan! We wish we could stay longer and hope to return soon.
The hills behind the house are incredible. We felt very close to nature walking by the river that winds up near the Manshuin Temple, beautiful bamboo and wildlife. Domo arigatou gozaimasu!
E. and E., San Francisco
It has been nice staying in a quiet area with the sound of running water. Thank you so much for getting a cot for Leo - we all slept better for it.
We enjoyed exploring the local area and eating at the local haunts. We especially liked the ramen shop and ripple desserts, delicious. It was great to be so close to so many shops, especially ones that sell baby food. Great to have laundry too.
Our favourite sites were the western area, Ginkakuji, the bamboo grove and the beautiful garden made by a movie star. We also loved the Gion area, though it is so much smaller than I had imagined. Fushimi Inari Taisha in the south was our favourite walk, so peaceful. Looking forward to seeing more of Japan.
S., A. and L., New Zealand
We enjoyed our stay in Kyoto tremendously! Our visit to the temple nearby, following the little stream, was very nice. We met our old friends in their daughter's restaurant Tosca, a vegetarian eco-macrobiotic place next to the university. They lost everything with the tsunami living near Fukushima and live now temporarily in Kyoto. They are brave and positive, starting a new future.
"Help" natural food store has many organic foods. Your house was nice and cosy after long bicycle tours through the city ( kilometers, but so nice! ). Thank you so much for all the care.
W., A., V. and T., Amsterdam, Holland
We have had nice days in the historical and traditional city of Kyoto. Probably the most interesting cultural city of Japan, a country where the people have extraordinary hospitality for visitors.
We have enjoyed staying in Hiroko's comfortable home, and wish to say thanks a lot because she is very kind. See you in Barcelona!
T. and J., Barcelona
We absolutely enjoyed our stay and being part of suburban Kyoto! The house is just great, making us feel at home right away.
We recommend the walk between Kibune and Kurama with the outdoor onsen at the end. It is such a beautiful forest and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We packed a lot into four days and have hardly touched on the sights of Kyoto. The bike-riding was fun and always exciting, and the recommendation of Yamago was spot on.
We would easily recommend Apple House and could not have done half of what we did without it.
P., S. and T., Canberra, Australia
Another delightful stay in Apple House with new discoveries in and around Kyoto, including Toei Studio Park, which was terrific, Chikubushima in Northern Lake Biwa, which turned out to be surprisingly easily accessed as a day trip ( we've left the ferry schedule ) and the fabulous Miho Museum. We also reacquainted some favourite haunts such as the Garden Museum, Sekizanzenin and Manshuin; Hida Restaurant and the ramen shop; and of course Uniqlo ( at Qanat, at Loft, at Kyoto Station... ).
Thanks again for everything that you do to make Apple House a home of dreams in every sense. Two weeks has only whetted the appetite for a further period in Kyoto and we are already looking forward to it - even if it will be summer! Best wishes and thanks always. R.
Once again thank you for a very special time in Apple House. It is always a pleasure to be here. I hope I will be able to return. We were very fortunate to see the cherry blossoms - they are beautiful. The weather was a bit erratic but that did not stop us from getting out and about in this very special city. Once again, thank you for your hospitality. P.
Many thanks for everything! See you all in August 2013. I love being here. Please come and stay with us next time. Very best wishes. M.
R., M., T and P. Sydney, Australia
Thank you for a fantastic stay and all the useful information in the folders. It has been quite cold this week so the bath and heated toilet seat were brilliant.
We particularly enjoyed strolling around Gion at night, the bamboo grove, Philosopher's Path and The Monkey Park!
Fresco was very useful and we loved cooking in the house. We changed traveller's cheques at the local bank - but this took one hour. Citybank next to Shijo subway station takes fifteen minutes!
C. and N., London, U.K.
We have had such a lovely time here in Kyoto. We enjoyed the bikes, a great way to get about and thank you for providing them. Your food recommendations are very helpful and spot on, especially Kitayama Noodle. It is so lovely to have a temporary home here in Kyoto and thank you for providing all the little extras that make life so comfortable here.
David - next time we are in Kyoto and the sun is out we will definitely do the hiking trip up the hill behind Apple House!
S. and A., Bath, England
Thanks for all and the information in the house ( very useful ). The zone is very quiet but a little far from the center, but bus No.5 saved us ( and the cycles too ). If anybody wants to have a drink near here, go to "Viva la Musica" on Shirakawa Street. It is 10 minutes walking, lovely owners and live music every day until 2am. And if you like walking in the mountains, take the train in Shugakuin Station and go to Kurama and walk the forest path to Kibune ( about 2-3 hours ). It's very nice ( incredible trees and temples ).
This is Catalan, a spoken language in Catalonia ( Spain ) over 7,000,000 people and the last words too...
Gracias per tot i per aquesta casa tipica japonesa. Som 2 amics d'Igualada ( Barcelona ). Visca el Barca i visca Catalunya!
G. and J., Barcelona, Spain
Apple House was the perfect place for us to stay for our travels around Kyoto. We saved a lot of money by preparing our meals at the house. The house itself was perfect with lots of room and also it was very comfortable and clean. During this cold season, the beds were nice and warm and extremely comfy for futons. Thank you so much for creating a wonderful and warm atmosphere for travelers.
P.S. The kitchen was stocked with all the necessities. Thanks!
J. and J., Guam
Thank you kindly for your hospitality and the opportunity to stay at Apple House. Considering we are only in Japan for a week ( main purpose to see my brother who is here in Japan teaching English ), this visit to Kyoto and Apple House was the perfect way to live amongst the locals and see some of the most amazing places (Inari Shrine, Kinkaku-ji and Higashi Hongan-ji ).
My brother heard of this place from a friend and we are so glad of the referral. We will definitely reciprocate with as much enthusiasm and encouragement. What a beautiful home with so much to offer! Thank you again!
P.S. "Speak Easy" had amazing American breakfast options!
C., A., A. and H., Canada and Japan
After living in Japan for the past four and a half years, this was the first time we truly felt we were in Japan. We love this little house, especially upstairs. We all slept very well and thought it was a very cozy sleeping room. Our girls loved crawling into our beds in the morning.
We have seen a lot of places in the five days we were here and celebrated our oldest daughter's birthday here. Places we went are: Fushimi Inari Shrine, Bamboo Forest and Monkey Park in the Arashiyama area, Kinkakuji Temple ( Golden Temple ).
This is a great location to go on day trips and come "home" in the evening to this lovely, quiet area. We would love to come back one day, still so much to explore and we felt so at home.
Thank you for picking us up and bringing us back to the subway station! We all loved the monkey park!! P.S. The bus is a great way to get around!
D., C., M. and Z., Misawa, Japan
Our first Christmas abroad - and Kyoto and Apple House really made this Christmas a memorable one. Hiroko and David, thanks for the warm welcome we got when we came and the beautiful Christmas card.
Apple House was a perfect starting point for exploring Kyoto. Even though it was too cold to use the bikes as means of transportation, bus number 5 took us to the places we wanted to see.
If we ever come back to Kyoto, especially to see the cherry blossom, we will definitely stay in Apple House again.
K., M. and K., Norway
Thank you very much for letting us stay at Apple House, it has been truly memorable. The house is wonderful and we really enjoyed the bath! ( We are wondering if that style of bathtub would be available in America! ).
It was nice to be able to walk to the store for dinner, and really convenient to go from here to all parts of Kyoto. We wish we could take a longer vacation in Japan this time, but have greatly enjoyed the few days we have spent here.
J. and L., Texas, U.S.A.
Thank you very much for having prepared such a cozy place to stay for people from all over the world. You really thought about everything, nothing was missing.
I could feel your warm heart. Thank you. For you and your husband a blessed time to come.
F.M., Freiburg, Germany
Well, we were packing until the last minute, so we promise to write more next time! A lovely house and experience. Thank you so much!
S. and C., Seattle, U.S.A.
We have come to feel truly at home at Apple House and the month has passed far too quickly.
Apple House is much more than a vacation rental - it is truly a home away from home, because it is infused with the caring spirit of its owners. Hiroko, you have thought of everything to make this a comfortable, restful home. I appreciated your attention to detail - everything in excellent working order and spotlessly clean; great maps, brochures and guidebooks; thorough instructions etc.
But, for us, what has really made Apple House ( 5 star ) so wonderful for us has been the kindness and care you have given us. Thank you, Hiroko. You have gone far above and beyond to help us ( me, in particular ), and I will always appreciate that.
Anyone lucky enough to have stayed at Apple House is truly a fortunate traveller. I know this will be a cherished memory for us - of this charming home by the stream and the great kindness we have been shown here. Please let us know if you come to the Washington D.C. area. We would love to see you and will try to help make your trip as pleasant as you have made ours.
Thank you for everything. It goes beyond words.
M. and J., Bowie, Maryland, U.S.A.
Thank you so much for Apple House. Our time in Kyoto has been really enjoyable and all the maps, plans, bus timetables etc. have been so helpful.
I loved Kitayama Ramen, but as N. would vouch I've loved all the food in Japan and in Kyoto especially. My favourite sight besides Apple House was the Golden Pavilion. We all had a great time helping the school kids with their English.
Once again, many super thanks.
N., M., L. and T., Blackheath, Australia
I really enjoyed Apple House with its classic Japanese touch ( like tatami and futons ). The neighbourhood is delightful and you were so accommodating and friendly plus the information was very helpful. We are deeply thankful from the bottoms of our hearts.
Kyoto is a must for anyone wishing to travel to Japan, and Apple House is magical! The Kitayama Ramen is brilliant and cheap ( we took a cheap taxi there ). Another special place is Misho ( no English menu ) but the waitress speaks a little English and served the best food!
Once again thank you and you can be sure that I will recommend Apple House to all my friends.
N. and L., Blackheath, Australia
Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and wonderful accommodation as well! It has made our stay in Kyoto much more enjoyable. The information was very helpful as well for our stay in this beautiful city! You have made our experience really special. Thanks again for everything!
B.M., T.M., S.M. and C.H., USA and Nagoya
What a wonderful house to stay in whilst visiting Kyoto. You have made it so comfortable for your guests. The information for touring and sight-seeing was just right. We should love to return and stay longer as there is still as much to see and enjoy. Wishing you a successful season ahead.
M. and S., Sussex, England
Our stay in Apple House has been wonderful. The local area of Shugakuin is beautiful and makes a perfect place to settle down when not exploring the rest of Kyoto. The air-conditioning in the house was certainly also much appreciated! The local people are all extremely pleasant and helpful, especially a certain shopkeeper who went out of his way to help us. Many thanks for a great time!
T., J. and M., Birmingham, UK
Thank you Hiroko for a lovely stay in Apple House. We enjoyed having a home away from home in such a beautiful location, mountains around and stream outside. We had a very hot week, so being able to use the air-conditioning sometimes kept us cool. The bikes were also great and we hired another two so we could all ride. We rode to the local temples and anywhere not too far away. One day we rode to the manga museum and Nijo Castle, but that was a bit too hot and tiring for our nine year-old ( in cooler weather it would have been fine ).
The trip to Kurama and Kibune was great and we enjoyed cold noodles suspended over the river - natural air-conditioning. The kids loved lots of the ordinary things about Shugakuin life - the local Fresco was a big hit. We had lots of nice meals at home and mainly ate out at lunchtime in the areas we were sightseeing in. A great introduction for our kids, who are on their first trip here.
The kids say - fantastic sleep on the futons! Thank you!
S., M., M. and A., Melbourne, Australia
Apple House is so much fun to stay in and a great place to relax after temple-hopping. It is hard not to fall asleep and drown in the tub while soaking away a day's hard trek. Japanese-style bathing makes a lot of sense!
Tip: Bus number 5 to Kyoto Station is your friend. It takes almost an hour to go the whole way though, so if you are looking for good exercise, walk. Thank you again! P.S. Take the JR line to Nara and visit the tame deer!
R., S. and E., Fairbanks, Alaska
Thank you for letting us stay at wonderful Apple House. We had an amazing stay ( wish it was longer). We'll be back!
We loved biking everywhere: Silver and Golden temples, Gion etc. What a wonderful way to beat the "Golden Week" traffic jam on the roads. Biking along the river was so fun and pleasant....and we kept bumping into unexpected places / events. Today, we encountered a "Child's Day" celebration(s) where groups of men and women carry sacred chests. It was great to follow the various groups on our bikes. Then we saw a HUGE line at a ramen restaurant. It was on Higashi-Oji Dori. Must have been at least 30 people in the queue. Great ramen and chicken ( fried ). We also planned to eat at another ramen place recommended ( nearby ) but found it empty in "Golden Week" - it should have been packed , so that night we turned around on our bikes and went to "Nanzen" and LOVED the meat ( local grown ). What a treat! We also loved cooking at Apple House too! Thank you!
C. and L., California
Hiroko, thank you so much for your generous hospitality and thoughtfulness. Apple House is a little treasure, quietly tucked away in a little corner of Kyoto but close to everything. The house is spotless, Hiroko! You must be a human dynamo to keep it so clean. It has everything needed for two or a family. The bikes are great for exploring the area, even in the rain. Got me home from a cooking lesson, which for me was a highlight. Emi cooked us four dishes in her kitchen for a very reasonable price and her husband makes beautiful pottery. She is about 1.5km from Apple House.
Really enjoyed soaking in a hot bath after a long day's walking. The stream at the front is so relaxing. The neighbours very welcoming. We did have the most perfect week as you said. Cherry blossom on the Philosopher's Path - unforgettable!
This is our second time in Kyoto, and still so much to see and do. We plan to get back again. And Apple House will be on the itinerary. Thank you so much for picking us up from the station, dropping our son off a few days later and taking us there soon. Many thanks.
C. and R., Australia.
Une maison agreable qui nous a donne l'occasion de passer une semaine dans notre "ryokan" a Kyoto, et nous a permis de decouvrir le nord-est de la ville que nous ne connaissions pas encore.
D. et N., France.
Short and sweet! A great little place.Thank you for a wonderful stay. Amazing amount of local information and such a warm welcome.
J., S. and S., Glasgow, Scotland.
Thank you for the use of lovely little Apple House. It was a wonderful base for our explorations of Kyoto and beyond. We were warm ( even when it turned unexpectedly cold.... and snowed!! ), comfortable ( slept beautifully on the futons ) and had everything we needed in the house and close by. Also great support, directions and advice on use and access for all things.
J.'s tip for Kyoto: Come for more than a week if you possibly can - we were out and about every day and still feel that we have only seen about half of what we hoped to. We will just have to return! Also, I agree that the ramen shop is fantastic! Only order regular size and if you order beer ( available but not on menu ) you get an extra plate of toppings - then let out the waistband of your pants! Yum!!
Thank you again for a lovely home base on which to build our Kyoto memories, our trip seemed a long time coming and Apple House was just as I had hoped. Many thanks.
Following on from J.'s comments, I agree that Apple House was an ideal place to explore Kyoto and surrounds. The friendliness of all the locals we met was memorable as were all the sites we visited in and out of Kyoto. Many thanks for all guidebooks, leaflets and entertainment here at Apple House. I hope to return here soon and see many of the sights in town and in the Kansai region. For now it is farewell and onwards to Kyushu. Thanks again.
P.S. If you are looking for onward train / bus travel try www.hyperdia.com - lots of information on what train to take and also fares, supplements etc.
J., T. and P., Melbourne, Australia.
We had a wonderful time staying in Apple House for a whole month! Everything was so neat and clean and welcoming. We slept very well on the futons. The location is very peaceful yet convenient to transportation.
For your future guests we have a few recommendations:
1. Hida Restaurant nearby - good food, reasonably priced.
2. The croquette ( "korokke" ) place - you can get freshly fried croquettes, cutlets etc. from the small shop up the road ( toward Takaragaike Station ).
3. Number 17 and other buses that go along Kawabata Street ( the river ) are faster than the number 5.
We will be recommending Apple House to all our friends and family who want to visit Kyoto. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and best wishes!
S., L. and N., Vancouver, Canada.
Thank you for your warm and generous hospitality. So close to the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Shisen-do, and the Silver Pavilion Ginkaku-ji, three gems of our week here. The house gave us a taste of living here, something we can contemplate. The beauty of Kyoto is firmly noted in memory.
We were lucky to be here on a holiday which brought out the folks in traditional costumes. The great bustle of the crowds at Kyomizu-dera on Friday and the festive scene at Nara's great Todai-ji on Sunday made the weekend unexpectedly lively, even though we got off the train one stop too early in Nara and walked a couple of miles in the wasteland before flagging a cab that took us to Nara City and the temple. My personal favourite was getting a photo of A. petting a deer that matches a photo of her at the age of three doing exactly the same thing.
We have so enjoyed staying at Apple House and greatly appreciate Hiroko's kindness in getting us situated. Every day has been an adventure, seeing extraordinary places and meeting gracious people. Walking back along the canal, knowing that a deep soaking bath and comfortable futon await has only added to the pleasure. Many thanks.
M. and A., Boston, USA
First off my family and myself would like to thank you for allowing us to stay at Apple House. The house is "so cool" according to my 11 year-old sister! It had everything we needed and more! We have donated four wine glasses to the next set of travellers who might appreciate wine as much as we do.
We were fortunate enough to see a monkey with a red long face and butt ( about five feet tall ) eating something just outside our door. He would not stay long enough for a picture as my little sister could not quiet her excitement! On New Years we walked the hill in search for the bell ..... we found a Buddhist alone ( approx 75 to 80 years old ) ringing the bell. Alone in the dark with the company of a couple of candles, a Buddhist and five Canadians we each took a turn clanging the bell to celebrate 2011 - a very emotional experience for all of us.
Kyoto is beautiful - even with the most snow in five years, friendly people, you must try "Namaste" to eat at - AMAZING! We will be back! This place will hold a special place in our hearts.
The D. Family, London, Ontario, Canada.
It was a pleasure staying in the Apple House. After a few nights of staying in a hotel in Tokyo, it was a welcome change of pace. We made good use of the kitchen by making sushi - it was a unique Christmas dinner. In our four days in Kyoto, we especially liked the Arashiyama Monkey Park. It is well worth the 160m hike to the top, as the experience of the snow monkeys is unlike anything we have ever done. The Ryozen Kwan-on was also a treat. The tribute to the unknown soldier was nice, and one does not get to see a 24m tall statue every day. We also suggest going to Fresco's ( the grocery store ) and taking the 5 bus - they are both extremely convenient. Thanks for everything.
The F. Family, Chicago, USA.
Really ..... eight weeks ..... time to go?!? But it hasn't been long enough. Even in our many wanderings around the streets I feel we've only just begun to scratch the surface of Shugakuin, let alone Kyoto and the wider region.
Apple House has been a complete delight. Cool and happy in the unexpected October heat, with the creek gurgling through the windows at night. And so warm and welcoming when we came home at evening as the cold started.
Two months of highlights and a wonderfully productive sabbatical at Kyoto University are hard to capture in a few lines - but your warmth, generosity and kindness top the list. T.'s wonderful eight weeks at Shugakuin School has been so much better than it was reasonable to even dream of. Thanks for helping us achieve everything so smoothly. Our neighbours on the way to and from school were also a highlight.
But to more conventional highlights? Shugakuin Rikyu is extraordinary and far more than worth the trouble of booking for a tour ( we visited twice! ). Mount Hiei Garden Museum is a delight in cloud and sunshine. The three local temples ( Sekizanzenin, Manshuin and Shisendo ) are amazingly different and each worth spending time in. Autumn leaves in Kurama and Ohara were delightful.... and in every way, Apple House has added to and allowed us time to be inspired by each of these and many more.
And food ..... Hida is a lovely and welcoming place; the ramen shop along Shirakawa towards Ichijoji is reliable and generous; Kobayashi near the Rikyu and the little place overlooking the river near the bridge on Kitayama at Shugakuin were both terrific. But breakfast at home each day was a family highlight too.
Thanks so much for opening your wonderful home to us. It has worked magic and brought so much happiness to each of us. I trust we can welcome you to Sydney sometime soon. And the T. can make it back for another stay at Shugakuin School before she graduates!
R., M. and T., Sydney, Australia.
Well, what can I say that R. hasn't already said? We all loved staying at your Apple House. Your washing facilities are great, hot bath before going to bed, warm toilet seat on cold mornings etc.... I know you have thought of everything so it will feel like home. Many thanks! We hope that you will be able to visit us. Best regards.
M., Sydney, Australia.
I have had a great week here in Apple House. The canal outside was good, although I always thought it was raining. We found the ramen noodle shop. Unfortunately it was closed, but we did manage to find another. M. and R. will visit it again. I enjoyed the sleeping arrangements and had no problem with the futon, in fact I might set one up at home. Being able to do washing at any time was a bonus, but the step was a bit high. Thanks to Hiroko and the ladies from school who accompanied us to the Jidai Matsuri that was amazing and a big surprise. Thank you.
P.M., Sydney, Australia.
We've had a wonderful time in your lovely city and especially enjoyed the house. Maybe we will attempt to install a Japanese bathtub someday!
C. ( United States ) and E. ( Germany )
Our two and a bit week stay here has been a great experience. Shugakuin has been a good base for visiting a wide range of places in and around Kyoto. Everything in Apple House worked perfectly and we have been very comfortable here. Some of the highlights for us were the temples and shrines, gardens, World Peace Museum, Kurama and Kibune, and the shopping. I love the sound of the water outside. Shugakuin rocks!
J., S., N. and J., Australia
Thanks a lot for a warm welcome in your cosy house. Bikes were great to discover the town and we also enjoyed the quiet area around. We had a great time here in Apple House.
M. and S., Germany
What a great place.....I think I saw everything I missed last time and I made some new friends. I enjoyed taking the bike out for the day, choosing a direction and running into something amazing. I'm already thinking about the next time. Thanks once again for offering Apple House as a home away from home.
S.D., Boston, U.S.A.
We had a great visit to Kyoto. Apple House was a fun addition to our travels. We found a new appreciation for the Japanese culture living as a faux-Japanese family. We especially loved the monkey park! Must see! Thank you!
G., S., L. and R., Northfield, Minnesota, U.S.A.
What a great house, great neighborhood and an even better experience than we have dreamed of! Our 12-year old says the Osaka Aquarium - whales, ray and crabs are the best. Our 14-year old loved the markets and the food. Mum says Sanzen-in, Tofuku-ji, Nanzen-ji, the Icholon's walk (and the bunny cream puffs), Ryogen-in, and best Manshu-in. The whole trip was perfect!
M., E., R. and R., Valencia, CA and Boston, MA, U.S.A.
We have had a really enjoyable time in Kyoto. Everyone is so friendly and helpful ( perhaps they feel sorry for a couple of "oldies" ). The house is perfect and the whole experience was made more pleasurable with the skills which Hiroko applies to it. May you continue with this venture - I will certainly recommend you to my friends.
R. and R., Rushden, England
Richard and I have biked all over Kyoto in these wonderful six days of beautiful, sunny weather! Highlights have been Ryoanji, Nijo, Nishiki Market, Botanical Garden, Ginkakuji ( get there when it opens! ), Nishijin Textile Market & Kimono Fashion Show and our visit to very touristy Nara and the amazing Buddha. We could never have had so much fun without the bikes and terrific hospitality. We thought the Philosopher's Walk was disappointing, but if you go, have lunch at Hinode Udon ( it's on the map on page 103 of the Lonely Planet Guide Book ). Really authentic and delicious. I also recommend Prinz ( p. 128 ) for lunch if you're looking for trendy and very tasty food. After some really exhausting days, it was incredible to come "home" and sleep so well! A HUGE thanks, and please come and visit us!
J. and R.L., North Carolina, U.S.A.
It has been wonderful staying at Apple House. We were anxious about coming to Japan with a 15-month old, but finding this house has made a memorable trip for us. Jacob has enjoyed the sliding doors and we have all slept well on the futons. Despite several days of rain, we have had ten full days of sightseeing. Would recommend seeing Mount Hiei, Nara and Arashiyama. Also Takaragaike Park, especially for children. For good beer go to Liquor Mountain and for unique Japanese things ( such as old photos ) go to "Strange World" in the arcade. Thank you, Lewis, for entertaining Jacob! A big thanks to Hiroko!
L., S. and Jacob, Manchester, England
Thank you very much for the time here in Kyoto and in Apple House. We felt like at home and enjoyed watching TV in the evenings and the neighborhood dog lying in the yard in the mornings. We visited some sights in Kyoto, Nara and Osaka, and now we are heading to Kanazawa. We brought nice and warm weather with us. Let's hope it will last for the summer! Best wishes.
L., R. and I., the first guests from Finland!
Thank you for letting us stay with our kids. They really liked your little Japanese house and especially the beds upstairs... and a lot to tell their friends in Kindergarten back home. We all enjoyed our time in Kyoto, it's so laid back here (after staying in Tokyo.) Thank you for your hospitality. Vielen Dank!
I. and E., Munich, Germany
We have fallen in love with Kyoto and Apple House! What a wonderful home you have set up for people to enjoy! I was unsure at first about staying out of town center, but we wanted an authentic experience. We got it and more! The house, neighbors, and neighborhood are lovely. We all slept excellently each night as well. I'd like to bring upstairs home with me.
Navigating the city and getting around was easy. The people of Kyoto are so warm and helpful, we were never lost! Thank you also for securing Miyako Odori tickets for us, it was a highlight of our trip. Also - we recommend Grill Miyata for dinner in Gion. As much for the adorable old proprietor as for the steaks. Google him.
After 4 months of traveling, Kyoto was a fabulous way to end our trip and a highlight to be sure. We will be back. Many thanks!
B., J., E., and L., Venice, CA, U.S.A.
Thank you for making Apple House a great place to stay. You have thought of everything for us. We have enjoyed the time in Kyoto and visiting all the places you have recommended. It is a very quiet place compared to the city that we've come from. Everything was easy to find and everyone was very friendly and helpful. We'll be back for another visit.
Y., A., K., and R., Canada
Thank you for making the Apple House such a comfortable place to stay in Kyoto! I'll be back as 6 days was not enough to see all there is here! Close by- my favorite place to visit has been Shisen-do. It's so peaceful there, in contrast to so many of the busier places. Also, Koto-in was special. Best tempura I ever had was at Yoshikawa Inn downtown and sake at Yoramu to drink and learn! Have a great summer!
G.R., New York, U.S.A.
We have enjoyed our stay here very much. The traditional Japanese sitting spot is lovely and the bikes we had so much fun. Apple House was a great place to stay. Thank you! The little upstairs bedroom is very cute! We have had a great stay. The cherry blossoms were beautiful, and it was nice having the shops so close.
S., S., E. and T., Australia
Thank you for your wonderful hospitality. Apple House is fully equipped with whatever we needed during our stay. The tatami mats give this house a wonderful feeling. I loved going upstairs to bed smelling tatami and hearing the stream. We never had a bad nights sleep.
Tips: We loved the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, strolling in Gion and Pontocho Alley. We enjoyed all the restaurants especially Kitayama Ramen, Shogetsu, Sanda-ya (for excellent steak... better than Kobe and Hida beef). Go early in the morning to see Temples and Shrines. Get friendly with the neighbors, they are what made our stay wonderful and more authentic. Explore all the areas not highlighted on your maps.
This vacation was memorable and made even more enjoyable by staying at Apple House.
A. and R.F., California, U.S.A.
We've really enjoyed our visit to Kyoto. We have been traveling for 7 months now and Apple House is by far one of our favourite places to stay. We have had our best nights sleep of our whole trip - the futons are so comfy - we would recommend following the guided walks on page 102 and 103 of the Kyoto City Guide Book "Night walk through the floating world" and "A philosophical meander". Thank you to David and Hiroko for making our visit to Kyoto so special.
M. and D., Scotland
Thanks for a very comfortable stay at Apple House. We especially liked the bicycles - Kyoto is a great place for cycling around. We rented 2 other bikes - cost has increased to 500 yen per day, but this is still cheap! Himeji Castle was a great day trip with our JR Rail Pass. Highlight for the girls was shopping - we bought some beautiful boots at Takashimaya. We slept very well on the futons - thanks for the electric blankets! We will tell others about this little hideaway from tourist ville. Best wishes.
I., D., K., and D., Australia
Thank you for having us in your Apple House. We had comfortable sleep. We have been to the temples, Path of Philosophers Walk, South Higashiyama, Gion, Kurama Onsen (hot spring bath!), Kaleidoscope Museum and wonderful foods everywhere!! It's our luck that we're here to celebrate New Year Eve, "bang" the big bell, having made amazing walking trips. We discovered it's best to take bus 5 to Kyoto area, on our way home - shopped at Oasis supermarket (that sells lots of various delicious savories, ready to eat foods). This is the best stay in your House (of all rentals in the UK, Europe and Bali). One day, we hope to holiday-ski in Hokkaido or Nagano. Cheers!
R., P. (Singapore), and L., Perth, Australia
Thank you so much for our Apple House experience. We almost lost the plot completely when David drove us up the magical laneway with stream included! We had a great time exploring Gion, particularly the food down mysterious Ponto Cho, a peaceful walk down the Philosophers Walk and taking in some comic art at the Manga Museum in the city. The visual overload down the alleys in Gion were great especially Nishiki markets and the surrounding lanes. Thanks again, we'll never forget it and will be coming back for much longer!!
C., A, and S., Australia
Thank you for your wonderful hospitality. Apple House is fantastic! A great experience. Plenty of room for all of us!! We didn't stay long enough though, to see all the beautiful sights of Kyoto. We cycled to the Philosophers Walk and kept going all day, so much to see! Thank you again.
R., C., S. and S., Gold Coast, Australia
Thank you very much for your wonderful hospitality for old friends. We really appreciate it. You have a beautiful house, very cute guest house and wonderful children. You should come to the US for a visit sometime so we can return the favor. Let's try to make it less than 12 years next time!
L. and E., U.S.A.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our 7-week stay at Apple House. Please accept our warm and sincere thanks for everything. Our stay has been both pleasurable and memorable. Everything related to the house, from the initial booking to organising our departure went without a hitch. Thank you! Particular thanks for the "tips" on sightseeing and events, plus helping out when Lynn was unwell. These kindnesses made our time here much easier and enjoyable. We have enjoyed: meeting the friendly neighbours and seeing how the "locals" live; the ease of access to both trains and buses; the convenience of great local shops, ATM etc.; the quiet and safe neighbourhood; we could go on ( and on ). All in all, you have a great set-up for visitors to Kyoto. We thoroughly recommend Apple House to prospective visitors. Wishing you the very best.
J.R. and L.R., Queensland, Australia
** Visitors during the 7-week stay of J.R. and L. R. (above) **
Thank you so much for making Apple House so comfortable and your interest in our stay. We are sorry we did not manage to meet you - we have been "on the run" since we arrived! We love Kyoto and the exceptional friendliness and kindness of its people - so refreshing compared to England. The places we have seen are beautiful. We managed despite the rain and saw the Golden Pavilion in all its glory with the sun shining. We slept very well indeed. Thanks again.
S.W. & P.W., Kent, England
We have thoroughly enjoyed our brief but action-packed stay in Kyoto. This is an amazing city. We loved Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji temples, Nijo Castle with its nightingale floors, Nishiki Market and more. Inari ( The Fox Temple ) was a real highlight - we went after dark. The trip to Nara was wonderful and the stop at Uji was a real surprise. Byodo-in and the museum there are very special. It was great to come home after very long days to the quiet neighborhood and the comfort of Apple House. We appreciate your efforts to make our stay a pleasant one. Unfortunately it was too short! We will happily recommend Apple House to friends. Do look us up if you are in Bangkok.
M.C. and C.M., Bangkok, Thailand
Thank you for allowing us to stay at the Apple House. We had a wonderful stay in Kyoto and a fabulous day trip to Nara from here. The Todaiji Temple there is truly awe inspiring! We really wanted a Japanese experience and the Apple House and the neighbourhood really made it that. We're planning to tell all our friends back in Yokohama where they can get self-catering in Japan. If you're ever in Yokohama, give us a call.
The K. Family
It was a pleasure being guests at your lovely home. The Apple House is an amazing way to experience Kyoto. Your booklet explaining everything from the remote to recommended restaurants was so helpful. Thank you for all your preparation!
It's hard to think about our favorite thing about the Apple House and Kyoto; everything has surpassed our expectations. But here is a shot - the bicycles!, Arashiyama and the bamboo forest ( by way of Keifuku electric railway ), Kurama Onsen and the train ride to get there, Philosopher's Path, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Sayur-Sayuran restaurant on Shirakawa-Dori, the Gael for a quick pint, falling asleep to the sound of the stream outside, the kind and patient people,....the list goes on. We hope to be back and see all the things we missed. If ever in Boston, give a ring.
S. and A., Boston, U.S.A.
Thank you both for your kind hospitality. We have had a wonderful time here in Kyoto and Apple House. Staying in such a beautiful Japanese house was not only convenient but an experience which we will share with our friends and family.
We have stayed in house rentals before, and Apple House is by far the most well kept place we have ever stayed in. No doubt should we find ourselves in Kyoto in future, we will be staying here again. It is definitely a Home away from Home ( especially when it comes to laundry ).
Tips and Highlights: 1. "Kitayama Ramen" - it was AWESOME!! From the friendly service ( it was a shame we could not speak Japanese ) to the soup base to the perfect noodles, it has set the bar for great ramen. 2. Staying at Apple House allowed us to see another side of Kyoto other than the tourist driven commercial side. Other highlights: Golden Pavilion, Inari Shrine, Nijo Castle, Fresco, 100 Yen shop.
Thank you again for your help and guidance.
L. and L., Sydney, Australia
The house has everything we could have wished for! The location has been brilliant - even with the wheelchair we have managed to see many of the spectacular sights around here. The nearest temple just up the road was one of the nicest we have seen! Thank you very much for your advice and help ( couldn't have managed without it ).
J., W. and H., United Kingdom
We feel privileged to have stayed in delightful Apple House! It has been such a blessing to have this wonderful solid base for our adventuring around Kyoto. It has given us a grounding and a real chance to find our "travelers' legs" for the rest of our Japan Adventure. You have put together such a charming house filled with so many lovely touches, from the apples to the maps and guides to the kids' DVDs - it has made everything so easy.
If only I could fold Apple House into my suitcase and pop it up at our next stop! Having Apple House has taken so much drama out of traveling with a child. Can't wait to come back when his legs are long enough for the bikes!
Thanks Hiroko for giving us a wonderful experience of living in a typical Japanese house - Apple House did every justice to that. If you ever drop by Singapore or need any help in any of your India trips, please feel free to contact us by an email. Any time is a good time to return your hospitality.
The K. Family, Singapore
Apple House and its lovely neighborhood is the perfect way to experience the cultural heart of Japan. We enjoyed shopping for our breakfast foods at Fresco... and every morning waking up early and planning our adventures over tea and toast at the kitchen table. Thank you for making our stay so memorable - and relaxing! Now if only I could figure out how to pack the "futon" upstairs into my luggage so I can sleep that great every night! TIP: Enjoy a bowl of ramen at Karako at Nijo-dori and Higashioji-dori! (K.J.)
Thank you for your wonderful house and hospitality which has allowed me to experience the part of Japan that has been a big part of my life. I look forward to sharing memories from this stay and hope that our paths will cross again. TIP: Relax! ~ After visiting Kinkakuji Temple, take advantage of a local hot spring named Huneoka Onsen. It will take days of travel pains away! Food! ~ The Nishiki Food Market on the 4th Ave. by the river has tons to choose from! Just no bike riding or parking!(F.A.)
Thank you so much for this "sugoi" experience in Kyoto! While we took a few day trips outside of Kyoto, coming back to the Apple House was always a highlight. Every detail has been thought of, and for that we appreciate it very much! The umbrellas came in very handy during a drizzly day, and the bikes helped me achieve my sightseeing goals when my poor feet couldn't take any more walking! TIP: If you get a chance, take a trip to Hiroshima - only two hours by Shinkansen. Miyajima Island is also a beautiful sight. (J.C.)
K.J., F.A., and J.C., Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.
We had a great time at the Apple House. It is such a treat to stay in a Japanese house!.... I tried the furo and enjoyed soaking after a long day of walking and sightseeing. We loved the sound of the stream and saw a small green frog on one of the fence posts. We also enjoyed a hike along a stream somewhere near Shugakuin Rikyu Michi. A hawk flew over the water so close to us, we startled a snake resting under the wooden walking boards, and a deer allowed us to pass by ever so slowly. We're already talking about Kyoto, next time. WE''LL BE BACK! Thank you so much for such a lovely place. Much aloha.
S. and I., Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Thank you so much for providing us with this wonderful home away from home. We had a great time exploring the magical Shugakuin area and a fun time getting to know several of the friendly neighbors. We'll never forget falling asleep to the sound of the water flowing or the smell of the numerous colorful flowers in the area. We can't wait to return to Kyoto in the future. Thanks again.
T. C. D. and L., Owasso, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
We had a wonderful ( if far too short ) stay in Kyoto and felt tremendously lucky to have discovered the Apple House. Next time it will be a month! Loved the quiet, and being able to bike.
When looking for the restaurant Yamago, per your recommendation, we went through the wrong door .... and accidentally had a delicious hibachi ( grill it yourself ) meal at the place next door instead! We also went to Kitayama Ramen, which is indeed excellent: note that even the "regular" size is HUGE! All the best.
R.F., K.F., A.F. and D.F., Seattle, U.S.A.
Apple House is a delightful place to really experience Japan. The location, the amenities, the atmosphere all joined to make our family trip to Kyoto very special. Thank you for the maps, guides and details you provided - we felt very secure exploring with those in hand, especially the transportation guides.
We all loved Kyoto, especially the Arashiyama-Sagano district for the natural atmosphere ( the Chikurin bamboo forest is magical ) and Gion for a glimpse of the mystique that IS Japan. We will never forget our visit here, especially our time in Apple House.
C.H., M.H. and S.H., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A.
You have a delightful house - thanks for letting us enjoy it! We found everything working and in order. We particularly enjoyed the bikes which we used to go to the Golden Temple and Nijo Castle. It's a little out of the way but more than makes up for it in atmosphere.
M.K., J.K. and T.K., Rossland, B.C., Canada
The Apple House was a refreshing change from the repetitive Tokyo hotels. Our kids loved the experience of a traditional Japanese house and the fact that it was embedded within a typical Kyoto nieghborhood. Your thoughtful preparations and instructions allowed us to enjoy Kyoto during our brief visit here. Thank you.
C.F., Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A.
We've had a great time staying at your house. The experience of staying in a Japanese style home has been a unique opportunity for all of us. I'm sure my wife and daughter will never forget it and talk about it for years. We came to Kyoto on the Shinkansen, we rode the subway and surface trains, but riding on the buses was a new experience for my wife and daughter. Staying at Apple House gave us a bit of insight into the life of the locals, a rare thing for sure.
F.Y.I. Uji is a beautiful city not far from here that's worth a visit. Byoudoin in Uji is the temple on the back of the 10 Yen coin!
M.M., Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
You have set up a beautiful home away from home for us. Everything has been thought of, from CDs to DVDs for kids to the green and red matching bikes. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
Other than our son's above remark, my wife & myself have had really a good time staying in Apple House. Knowing David, the owner, is also our great pleasure. Thank you.