The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan hotel has welcomed guests for over 1,300 years and was founded in 705 AD. To top it all off, the Japanese hot spring inn has been run by the same family for 52 generations.
In 2011, Guinness World Records recognised it as the oldest hotel in the world. Japan also boasts the world’s second-oldest hotel, Hōshi Ryokan, which is also featured in the Guinness World Record book.
The 37-room inn sits at the foot of the Akaishi Mountains, also known as the Southern Japanese Alps, approximately 87 miles (140 km) from Mount Fuji. Since it opened its doors 1,316 years ago, all of the inn’s hot water has come directly from the local Hakuho Springs.
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Thanks to its close proximity to the hot springs, the hotel, a type called an onsen — a hot spring or a guest house built around hot springs — boasts naturally sourced hot baths in each guest room, as well as public hot baths for guests to share in the main areas of the inn.
Since Fujiwara Mahito first built the inn, it has seen a number of renovations over the years, with a major refurbishment taking place in 1997. Even with these renovations, the inn has kept its traditional onsen architectural style and also features washitsu style elements with tatami mats and classic Japanese art and furniture in every room and facility. WiFi was added to the inn in 2019, so now guests can access the internet as they wish.
However, most guests will likely be keen to put their devices aside for their stay so as to fully embrace the relaxing atmosphere, take in the striking views, and soak all their aches and pains away in the hot spring baths.