Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan – The Oldest Hotel in the World

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Ever wondered which is the oldest hotel in the world? The oldest hotel in the world is the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a hot spring hotel located in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan.

It was founded in 705 AD and has been in continuous operation ever since. It has over 1,317 years of history, managed by the same family for 52 generations.

The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a traditional Japanese hotel, known as a "ryokan", in addition to its fame as the oldest hotel, it is known for its natural hot water, or "onsen" in the open air.

The hotel has 37 rooms, each traditionally decorated and equipped with tatami mats, futons and hardwood floors. Guests can enjoy traditional Japanese meals, as well as activities like fishing and nature walks.

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Nishiyama onsen keiunkan - the oldest hotel in the world

The History of Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan

In 705, Fujiwara no Shinobu, who was hunting in the region, discovered a hot spring that gushed abundantly from among the rocks of the river.

It is said that this is where he broke through and built a bathtub, thus inaugurating the fountain. From then on, it was called Keiunkan, as it was built during the Keiun era, and was also secretly used even by Takeda Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

The natural spring that belongs to Keigun-kan has a flow of 400 liters per minute, being considered the largest in the world. In 2005 (17 years of the Heisei period), a new source was created by drilling, with a flow rate of 1630 liters.

The property has been managed by the same family for 52 generations since its founding in 705 AD The family has worked hard to maintain the hotel's tradition and history, and is a source of pride for the city of Yamanashi.

This is not exclusive to the hotel, in Japanese culture it is common for many traditional businesses to pass from father to son for several generations. There are several establishments that surpass 500 years of history.

Nishiyama onsen keiunkan - the oldest hotel in the world

Questions about Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan

Let's finish by answering some questions about the Ryokan over 1300 years old:

How to get to Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan?

The closest station to the Hotel is Shimobe Onsen, located on the Tokai Minobu Line at Minobu-cho in Yamanashi. There are other routes you can use to reach Hotel Nishiyama.

Is Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan the oldest in Japan? Is it the first Onsen?

Despite its age, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is certainly not the first onsen nor the first oldest hotel in the world. According to Guinness, the first hotel in operation was Hoshi Ryokan founded in 718 and operated for 46 generations.

Credited as the oldest onsen in Japan is Dōgo Onsen, but this information does not make much sense, as hot springs are mentioned in documents from the first century of Japan.

Although Dogo Onsen is younger than Nishiyama Onsen, it is very likely that the traditions spread in Onsen had their origins in Dogo Onsen, so it is credited as the oldest onsen.

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