A Home Away From Home — Guest House Hachi In Kyoto

When I visited back in June of this year prior to their official launch in August 2017, I was fortunate enough to receive a sneak preview from one of the owners — Takuji — an extremely warm, friendly, and open-minded owner. With his business partners — Onur and Amelia, the trio collaborated and designed an immaculate guesthouse called Guest House Hachi with spectacular decor.

Pouring their hearts and souls into establishing the business, the trio often worked long hours and often into the middle of the night to launch this guest house in time for its grand opening this year. Not only did I witness the result of their combined efforts to transform a traditional town house (or 町家 / まちや)into an impeccably-designed guest house in Kyoto, but I also received such a warm welcome that I couldn’t wait to publish an Instagram story about it.

Guest House Hachi is not just a working place for me. It’s my home, where I welcome guests from all over the world with diverse backgrounds (such as nationality, gender, age, occupation, etc.).

With an incredible staff, who all work tirelessly to make this an exceptional guest house, we have effortlessly become good friends. That’s why we all enjoy working here. Plus, with an open and welcoming atmosphere, we have created an inclusive environment where everyone can truly be themselves.

My greatest joy is to see my guests come home with a smile on their face, as they share the highlights of their day. Guests are not only attracted to our open-minded philosophy, but also our affordable prices, and captivating decor. In fact, we’ve become friends with many of our guests.

And finally, since we spent so much time renovating the house, we know every nook and cranny. Now, we jokingly call it “our baby.”

I hope you have the opportunity to visit us someday!
— Takuji Murakami, Owner

Although there are many qualities that separate Guest House Hachi from all the rest, I wanted to highlight the top 3 aspects:

1. A Place Where You Can Truly Feel at Home

What sets this place apart from all of the other guest houses popping up in Kyoto, is the fact that they want every single guest to feel truly at home when staying at their home for just 1 night or for 1 month. Regardless, everyone who stays at the house feels comforted by the warm welcome from the trio, as evidenced by their glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and the personal gifts they’ve received from guests.

2. An Open-Minded & Safe Space

One of the most fascinating elements for me, is the fact that this is truly a place that accepts people from all backgrounds. In fact, it’s one of the only LGBTQ-friendly places in all of Kansai (which includes Osaka, Shiga, Nara, Mie, Wakayma, etc.).

In fact, Takuji decided to name the house “Hachi” or 8 in Japanese, as a tribute to the original 8-colored rainbow flag. A man named Gilbert Baker developed the original one to symbolize equality for all.

And it was launched in 1978 for San Francisco’s “Gay Freedom Day” — an event that eventually became the Pride Parade. What originally started out in only one city — San Francisco, became an international phenomenon with over 200+ parades all over the world.

Since I was born and raised in the heart of San Francisco and worked in politics as well as tech companies since the age of 14, I have had the great fortune of participating in at least 5 Pride Parades!

At the time, it was not possible to print the hot pink color for mass production and the turquoise was eliminated in exchange for a royal blue color, resulting in a total of 6 colors for the current Pride flag.

Besides the historical aspects of the Pride Flag, the owners also sought to highlight the fact that the number 8 is a lucky number that symbolizes harmony in many Asian cultures. With the goal of creating a safe space — where guests from all backgrounds, with varying opinions, and diverse genders — would feel welcome, the owners welcomed each and every guest with open arms.

3. Impeccable Stylish Exterior & Interior Design

A stunning, beautifully designed Guest House, it’s worth a visit and stay, if you have the opportunity to do so. Take a look at some of the pictures below.

In fact, other Guest House owners have asked to visit the place to learn how they can improve the décor of their own places, as it’s built a local reputation. As such, it’d be worth a visit, if you are ever in the neighborhood, or need a place to stay in Kyoto.


Description: Guest_House_hachi 築約80年の町屋を改装したゲストハウスです。どなた様もお気軽にどうぞ We renovated a traditional town house in Kyoto into a guest house. Anybody is welcome here at www.guesthousehachi.com. Check out their Instagram too. And read their fantastic Trip Advisor Reviews.

How to Reserve Guest House Hachi


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