Need an apartment for a month in Kyoto? Here’s the place to stay


Anyone familiar with us knows that we are big fans of Airbnb. In fact we spent 315 night in Airbnb apartments in 2016. The one major exception was Kyoto. When researching where to stay in Kyoto I found the Airbnb options in Kyoto depressing (funny enough, the 2 Airbnb apartments we stayed at in Tokyo were disappointing as well). So I started looking at different options – and that’s how I came across CMM Ekimae. They cater to people booking apartments by the month.

Browsing the website, the CMM Ekimae rooms looked clean and modern and the location (with a 2 minute walk of the train station) appeared ideal. So we booked a month’s stay.

Below left: the CMM Ekimae building and views towards the Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Station.

CMM Ekimae Kyoto location, kyoto

Below: The entrance to the building.

CMM Ekimae kyoto reception


Below: walking into the kitchen from the hallway.

CMM Ekimae interior hallwall


CMM Ekimae ended up being perfect for our stay. The kitchen was fully equipped and had everything one would need including stove top, fridge, microwave, rice cooker and kettle. It even had a washing machine (for clothes) which is pretty amazing for a small apartment (we would hang them to dry on our balcony). The room was very comfortable with a bed, sofa, coffee table, working desk and TV (with cable). There is wifi.  We work as we travel so it had everything we needed. The “bathroom” was actually comprised of two rooms – a room with a toilet and another with a bath/shower – with a little vestibule containing a sink between them. The toilet of course had all the fancy Japanese features (perpetually warm seat, different spraying options). Also well thought-out was a sliding door that separated the kitchen from the kitchen and bathroom. Overall, the room was not large (Japanese rooms never are) but it was well organized and equipped.
It had everything we needed for a one month stay.

Below: Room and working space

CMM Ekimae kyoto furnishings

Below: Bathroom

bathroom CMM Ekimae Kyoto


The location also ended up being perfect. We were a 2 minute walk from the train station, the central hub for trains, the underground metro (subway), and buses. It made visiting the various temples easy. There is lots of shopping in the area (we did grocery shopping at Yodobashi, right next to the Kyoto Tower) and restaurants (we found a particularly good sushi place in the underground floor of the train station). We were also close to the Kamo River, a great place for jogging and cycling.

Below: CMM Ekimae has bikes you can use for free. Just ask them.

cmm Ekimae exterior hallwall

Overall, we had an excellent stay at CMM Ekimae and really recommend them for a stay in Kyoto.

Website: CMM


CMM Kyoto Ekimae


Disclosure: We received a 25% discount on our 1-month stay in exchange for a review. As with every other review, we express our true feelings about a place including any negative aspects. In this case there are none.


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  1. Looks really cute. We stayed close to the Tower as well but our place was much, much smaller than that. We also wondered how they were able to squeeze a pretty good shower room and toilet in such a space. Loved Yodobashi and wish we’d found that sushi place. I would totally stay here :-).
    Kemkem recently posted…Add Groupon Coupons To Your Travel ArsenalMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      How much smaller than that could it be Kemkem? Did you sleep standing up in a closet? 🙂
      This wasn’t a very large space but they just did a really good job with space management. Imagine we were in there 30 days! Ended up being really comfortable though.

  2. I’ve been following your posts since we have pretty similar lifestyle. I am curious what you found disappointing about Kyoto airbnb offerings? Japan is on our traveling schedule for later this year, so I am beginning to look for accommodations. Cheers!

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thank you Elena, I’ll have to check out your blog.
      We found Airbnb options cramped, not very well kept, with kitchen amenities lacking (usually a microwave and a single hot plate). We weren’t impressed with cleanliness. We stayed in 2 places in Tokyo, one for 3 days and another for 5 and neither would we ever want to go back to. And the thing is, unless you want to pay a of money, they all look basically the same. Another oddity: Airbnb owners don’t seem to want to meet you in Japan. In both cases the owners were in town but there was always a key pickup procedure (usually kept in the mailbox). In most places owners happy to meet you and show you their place but that wasn’t our experience in Japan. Maybe just a cultural thing.
      Hope that helps 🙂

      • Thank you, Frank :). Good to know about cleanliness (or lack of thereof). Speaking of check-in procedures, we had the same experience in Australia. Stayed in 2 different places and both owners left the keys in those boxes that real estate agents use giving us the codes to open them.

        • Frank (bbqboy) says:

          Yes, so basically same thing as in Japan. Its honestly a bit off-putting when people don’t want to be bothered meeting their guests. I don’t understand it honestly.

  3. Looks like the perfect location and spot to stay for a month. Nice to be near a park for some greenery and a good eatery, ha especially sushi of course. Often so expensive in Japan but once you find a good one, worth returning to!

    We have had some difficulties with Air B&B in certain locations where the logistics just seem to get too complicated. An example is Hong Kong.

    I do like the Japanese way of orderliness and of course the (Toto) toilets with all their “special” features 🙂 Sounds like a really good month! Enjoyed the post. Where are you guys off to next?

    Peta Kaplan recently posted…Islam and Chinese New Year converge ~ Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks Peta. We left Japan in mid-December, went to Belgrade, then Zagreb…and are now in Split for at least another month (maybe more depending on how some paperwork goes…)

  4. Frank, the apartment looks perfect, good location is always top of my list and I much rather have a smaller place in a good location. Kyoto is a place I would like to visit and so I will keep this recommendation for future reference, thank you. We are off to Australia on Thursday and I did look into Airbnb accommodation for Sydney, but found it to be quite expensive, so in the end we just decided to stay in a hotel. I hope you are having a great time in Croatia 🙂
    Gilda Baxter recently posted…A little dose of Dorset – with a dash of Stonehenge.My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thank you so much Gilda.
      Wow, usually Airbnb much cheaper than a hotel. We found what you are describing in Cape Town where there were a shortage of Airbnb listings and they were priced at about the same as a hotel.
      Enjoy Australia! That’s a place we’ve never been.

  5. The apartment looks fantastic. Very modern, clean and well equipped. Have a wonderful month there. I haven’t been to Japan yet but it’s on my list for the next year or so.
    Mike recently posted…Balkans Multi Destination Trip – Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and HerzegovinaMy Profile

  6. Wow – looks clean and minimalistic with absolutely no clutter which I love. Some of the AirBnB places are decorated to the owner’s taste or with leftover junk that adds lots of clutter or knickknacks that take up valuable storage/organizing space. Add that to a good location and I’d say you have the perfect place. If we ever make a plan for Japan, I’ll definitely check out CMM.
    Anita recently posted…The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba: An Architectural AllegoryMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Exactly Anita – I think the problem with Airbnb options in Japan is that most apartments are small which just accentuates “leftover junk”. They organized these apartments well and as you say, looks clean and minimalist.

  7. Great tip guys, I’m hoping to head over that way one day soon so might just take your advice! 🙂

  8. Looks like a nice little apartment. The design is nice and it appears to have everything a traveller would need. Very similar in size and layout to some of the places I stayed at while visiting Japan. I’ve also seen much smaller apartments around and remember one place I was at had a bathroom that would make most aeroplane toilets look big!
    Barry recently posted…Long Term Travel Packing List: My Travel GearMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Yes, we had some of those when travelling through Central Honshu for a week. Lots of budget hotels that were incredibly tiny and the bathrooms actually look like one-piece, fabricated bathrooms similar to those on planes.

  9. wow. for an apartment in Japan that looks really nice! very impressed. I’m interested to hear AirBnb in Japan was disappointing. apartments and even houses from my experience are often very basic and not visually appealing in any way.
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