Halfway between Tokyo and Nagoya, on a mountain riverbank sits Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan – the oldest hotel in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
The Keiunkan lies at the foot of the Akaishi Mountains. Since its foundation, the hotel has had all its hot water sourced directly from the local Hakuho Springs. It has been continuously operated by 52 generations of the same family (including adopted heirs) for over 1,300 years.
The hotel was created by Fujiwara Mahito, son of an aide to the 38th Emperor of Japan, Emperor Tenji. Upon its creation, the healing waters of the springs became widely popular in Japan with many famous people in Japanese history and culture documented as guests of the hotel.
The hotel underwent a major renovation in 1997 but preserved the traditional architectural style of the original property. In 2005, private, free-flowing hot spring baths were added to every one of the 37 rooms.
A classic Japanese hotel in all senses, staying here is literally becoming part of 1,300 years of history.