Kyoto Nijo Castle Machiya Project – Part 2


Follow our journey as we renovate a traditional machiya townhouse in Kyoto. Once complete, the renovated machiya will be offered for sale.

Shortly after the purchase of the home, we received brochures from Kyoto City and the Kyoto Center for Community Collaboration. The Kyoto City pamphlet is sent to new owners to inform them of a new rule from May 2018 that requires the city to be notified in advance of any planned demolition of machiya. Owners of properties in designated districts and those considered valuable to the scenic landscape will need to give the city one year’s advance notice before demolition or face a penalty.

There are several non-profits and local government departments that provide various support options, including financial assistance, to owners of historic machiya homes in Kyoto.


This center is operated by the Kyoto City Housing Supply Public Corporation and offers financial support for drawing up plans and carrying out earthquake retrofitting work. In 2017 it only provided support for planning and design costs, but in 2018 the support was expanded to cover the actual retrofitting work as well. The current scheme is in effect until March 31, 2019.

This applies to wood-frame homes (conventional post and beam or two-by-four) built before May 31, 1981, or 1~2 storey kyo-machiya built to the traditional method of construction before November 22, 1950.

Up to 80% of the cost of planning and retrofitting work may be covered, up to a maximum of 1 million Yen for wood-frame or 1.2 million Yen for a kyo-machiya residence. A property designated as a Structure of Landscape Importance may be eligible for an additional 400,000 ~ 600,000 Yen in aid.

If the reinforcing results in a high grade of structural strength, there may be additional perks to …continue reading