Discover the incredible history of the world’s oldest hotel

Let’s delve into the fascinating history of the hotel industry by discovering the establishment which holds the prestigious title of the oldest hotel in the world. A captivating journey through time and eras to explore the origins and anecdotes of this iconic hotel which bears witness to centuries of welcome and hospitality. Follow us for an exclusive immersion in the flamboyant past of this true jewel of the world hotel industry.

A hotel over 1300 years old

Let’s dive into the fascinating history of Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a Japanese inn open VIIIe century. Established in 705 in the picturesque town of Hayakawa, this historic residence has stood the test of time, fiercely defending its title as the oldest operating hotel in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Managed by the same family for 52 generations, this iconic place is not only a relic of the past, but also a living witness to Japanese traditions. For lovers of travel and history, a visit to Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a true pilgrimage to the cultural heart of Japan.

Distinguished guests and assured tranquility

This historic shrine has hosted many notable figures, including the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and the daimyo Takeda Shingen in the 16th century.e century. However, the age of the establishment does not mean obsolescence. Nestled at the foot of the Akaishi Mountains, the ryokan five stars presents itself as a haven of peace, offering modern services while respecting Japanese traditions.

Directly powered by thermal springs surrounding area, thermal baths or onsen are one of the hotel’s major attractions. Additionally, each room is equipped with bathtubs and showers using this beneficial thermal water, ensuring a soothing and revitalizing stay for each guest.

An authentic Japanese experience

With its thirty rooms minimalist but comfortable, where you sleep on traditional futons, the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan guarantees its visitors total immersion. All modern amenities are available, and the ryokan’s kitchen offers local Japanese dishes, cooked with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Traveler reviews speak for themselves: on the booking site Booking, the hotel has a rating of 9.3/10. Visitors particularly appreciate the size of the rooms and the spectacular views of the surrounding river and mountain. However, it costs on average €250 per night to stay in this unique establishment.

The challenges of time and family

Despite its heavenly appearance, the hotel has seen turbulent times. He had to move three times due to natural disasters and has undergone numerous renovations and expansions over the centuries. In 2017, the ryokan also faced a succession problem, when no member of the founding family was ready to take over management.

The solution then came from Kenjuro Kawana, an employee of the establishment for many years, who took the reins as 53e director. Although not part of the founding family, a new company was created to enable this transition, ensuring the continuity of this venerable institution.

An unmissable destination

For those passionate about travel and cultural discoveries, the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is much more than just a hotel; it is a real gateway to an ancestral Japan. Here, each stone whispering tales dating back more than a millennium, each thermal bath offering relaxation from the depths of the Earth, and each meal evoking the delicate flavor of authentic cuisine, make this place an unmissable stopover.