Do you know the secret to have a successful and long-lasting business? If not, you can ask the family running the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Kyoto, Japan.
The hotel industry goes back way further than you might think. Sure, there are classic properties in historic cities such as Paris and Rome, but there’s an inn in Japan that has those places beat by centuries.
The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan spa hotel was originally opened in 705 AD and in 2011 it was declared the oldest hotel in the world by Guinness World Records (currently 1311 years old). The hotel has been owned and operated by the same family for 52 generations, since its inception. As the generations went by, the hotel was slowly modernized but retained its prismatic charm and unique demeanor. With the modernization of the hotel, the rooms were equipped with all the modern amenities you could ask for without sacrificing the calm and relaxing ambiance.
During your stay at the hot springs at the base of Kyoto’s mountains, you can enjoy the same caliber of legendary hospitality that was experienced by noble samurai, famed shogun, and tourists for more than a thousand years. The hotel restaurant offers unique Miyama Kaiseki meals, seafood from Sanga, and some of the best Koshu beef in the entire world.
Despite the enhancements, the 4-star hotel still features a lot of historical and traditional feels around it. In that sense, it doesn’t have internet access! It also maintains tatami mat-floored rooms. With its natural vibe and ambiance, the visitors can enjoy its peaceful scenery around.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan holds the oldest hotel world record, having been operating for 1300 years now.
Guests can also grab a bite of the Koshu beef (a locally-sourced one) from the hotel’s restaurant. And you can be sure that it’s of the highest quality! With some karaoke, you can literally partake of the Japanese culture while staying in this hotel. And then, you can end the evening with a dip in the hotel’s natural hot springs. Here, you can indulge yourself with the striking views of mountains and several ravines. This hot spring dip would be central to your entire vacation there!
“The history of the Keiunkan inn dates back 1300 years to the year 705AD (the 2nd year of the Keiun era), when Fujiwara Mahito founded the inn. Because it was founded in the Keiun era, the inn was thus named Keiunkan. The hot spring has flowed freely without interruption since then and is loved by many townsfolk, military commanders and cultured peoples as a secluded place deep in the mountains of the Kai region. Keiunkan, to this day, still embodies the unchanging hospitality of the heart of Japanese harmony for all of our guests.” As found on their website.
The hotel has been of course renovated in these last years but has succeeded in maintaining its original and historic character. Showcasing traditional tatami mat-floors, serving high quality, locally sourced Koshu beef and of course preserving their renowned hot springs.
In the Guinness World Records, Keiunkan is certified as the world’s most historical inn. — World’s Longest-Standing Inn Founded in 705AD—
Many people, from historical samurai to A-list celebrities and politicians, have come to the inn for its history and healing waters. Keiunkan’s famous bath, Mochitani no Yu, has water fed directly from the hot springs. Guests are invited to drink directly from the springs as well.