When I first heard about the world’s oldest hotel I was curious as to where in the world it was. While it makes sense on reflection, I was surprised to learn that it was located in Japan of all places.
Certified as “the world’s most historical inn” by the Guinness Book of World Records, Koshu Nishiyama Hot Spring, Keiunkan, is located at the foot of the South Japanese Alps in Yamanashi Prefecture.
So what does it take to qualify as the world’s oldest inn? As it turns out, 1300 years of history. The Keiunkan Inn was opened in the year 705AD when Fujiwara Mahito founded it in the 2nd year of the Keiun era. With all its hot water sourced directly from the hot spring, the water has flowed freely without interruption since then.
In the same region as the World Heritage listed Mt Fuji, Keiunkan success is partly down to the fact it embodies the unwavering hospitality fuelled by the spirit of Japanese harmony towards guests.
Listed on Booking.com, and just shy of Keiunkan, Hoshi Ryokan is also widely considered the world’s oldest hotel dating back to 718. Even more impressive, it has been operated by 46 generations of the same family. Another traditional type of Japanese Inn, it is located in the Awazumachi area and offers public hot-spring baths and traditional meals.
You can find out more about the world’s oldest inn at Keiunkan.co.jp
SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her travel low point was buying a Beijing guidebook for her visit to Thailand in 2007. Thankfully her geography has improved since then.