Machiya (Traditional Kyoto Townhouses)

The typical Kyoto machiya is a long wooden home with narrow street frontage, stretching deep into the city block and often containing one or more small courtyard gardens or tsuboniwa. Machiya incorporate earthen walls and baked tile roofs, and could be one, one and a half, two, or occasionally even three stories high. The front of the building traditionally served as the retail or shop space, generally having sliding or folding shutters that opened to facilitate the display of goods and wares.

Much like forms of traditional architecture throughout the world, machiya are rapidly disappearing; their destruction has a powerfully adverse effect on the historic and traditional cultural atmosphere of Kyoto, and of the other neighborhoods and cities where they are being destroyed. Machiya are difficult and expensive to maintain, are subject to greater risk of damage or destruction from fire or earthquakes than more modern buildings, and are in the minds of many simply outdated and old-fashioned.

..text from Wikipedia, stay in a Machiya during your Kyoto visit..

Death of a Machiya Machiya Death Row Machiya Cemetery