In 2003, my parents saved enough frequent flyer points to send me back to Japan. I went to Kanazawa, the northern Kyoto, to study gold leafing. It is a beautiful town with many traditional elements including a Geishya House, a Shamisen factory, a samurai neighborhood, a castle and a park with classically tended trees.
I stayed at a Ryokan near the train station called Kashimaya. This is a traditional Inn. View their website to get a hint of what it is like living in a Japanese home.