The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a Japanese hot spring inn located in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. It is the oldest surviving hotel in the history of the world, first opening its doors in 705 AD. Fujiwara Mahito, the son of an aide to the 38th Emperor of Japan, Emperor Tenji, founded the inn and spa. Keiunkan is also one of the oldest businesses in the world.
“Nishiyama” means “West Mountain” in Japanese. This refers to the location of the hotel, which is at the foot of the Akaishi Mountains in the Yamanashi Prefecture.
“Onsen” stands for “hot spring” in Japanese. The hotel springs may have a number of health benefits.
“Keiunkan” means “Hall of Joyous Clouds” in Japanese. This name represents the elevated altitude of the hotel, where guests can relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
The inn sits at the foot of the mountains, where its hot springs flow directly from the local Hakuho Springs. The springs have provided steaming water for bathing since ancient times. The inn has been welcoming guests for over 1,300 years. As a part of its most recent reconstruction in 2005, hot spring water channels into each of its guest rooms.
Over the centuries, the inn has hosted a wide variety of guests, including samurai, shoguns, and even the current Emperor of Japan, Naruhito. The inn has also survived several natural disasters, including fires and earthquakes. The inn still operates under the same family that founded it.
Here are some of the highlights of the inn’s history:
705 AD: Fujiwara Mahito founds the inn.
1542: Takeda Shingen, a famous samurai warlord, visits the inn.
1600: Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, visits the inn.
1909: A fire destroys the main building of the inn.
1916: Another fire destroys the main building of the inn.
1925: A large rock destroys one of the inn’s buildings.
1982: A major typhoon hits the inn.
2011: Guinness World Records recognizes Keiunkan as the oldest hotel in the world.
Changing Construction – Same Natural Benefits
None of the guest rooms or common areas are still the same construction as the original hotel. The inn has re-emerged several times over the centuries following fires and earthquakes. The current building appeared in 1983 and was remodeled in 2005.
However, there are some elements of the original hotel that remain the same. For example, the inn still uses the same hot springs as did the original guests. The inn also has a small museum that exhibits artifacts from the inn’s history.
The current hotel still occupies the same plot of land as the original hotel. The inn has undergone changes several times over the centuries, but it has always occupied the same location. The building sits in the town of Hayakawa, in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.
The inn’s location is significant because it is at the foot of the Akaishi Mountains, and its hot springs flow directly from the local Hakuho Springs. The inn sits in a remote area of Japan. Therefore, the inn is relatively isolated from the outside world. So, this has helped to preserve its traditional Japanese atmosphere.
While the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan has changed over the centuries, it has always stood in the same place. This is a testament to the inn’s long history and tradition. In addition to those in each room, a total of six hot spring baths dot the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan. They include four open-air baths and two indoor baths. The hot spring water may have a variety of health benefits.
The Hakuho Springs bubble up just a few kilometers away, and the hotel has its own private well that draws water from the springs. This means that the hot spring water is always fresh and clean. It flows directly to the baths in the hotel.
Food and Amenities
There are a total of 37 guest rooms available in the current hotel. The rooms come in three categories: standard rooms, deluxe rooms, and suites. The standard rooms are the most basic rooms, and they have tatami mats, futons, and traditional Japanese furniture. The deluxe rooms are slightly larger than the standard rooms, and they have some Western-style amenities, such as a TV and a refrigerator. The suites are the largest rooms. They have a private balcony or terrace. All rooms are also decorated in a traditional Japanese style, and they create a peaceful and relaxing experience.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan offers room service. Meals are also served at the hotel restaurant, which goes by the “Nishiyama Kaiseki Restaurant”. The restaurant serves traditional Japanese cuisine, and it offers fresh, seasonal ingredients.
The food at the Nishiyama Kaiseki Restaurant has received rave reviews from guests and critics alike. The restaurant’s menu changes seasonally, but it typically features dishes such as sushi, sashimi, tempura, and kaiseki meals.
Kaiseki meals are a traditional Japanese multi-course meal that is typically served at ryokans (traditional Japanese inns). Kaiseki meals feature fresh, seasonal ingredients, beautifully presented.
- Year Started: 705
- Year Ended: 2099
- Origin Of Name: West Mountain Hot Spring Hall of Joyous Clouds
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Fujiwara Mahito
- Owner While In Use: Kawano Family
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan
- Naics Code: 721110
- Location Headquarters: Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan