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March 26, 2024

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan: The Oldest Hotel in the World

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is an onsen—a Japanese hot spring spa—in the Yamanashi Prefecture. Founded in 705 by Fujiwara Mahito, it is a prime example of shinise (“long-established business”) and perhaps the oldest independent company in operation following the acquisition of construction company Kongō Gumi in 2006.

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.

In 2011, the Keiunkan was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest hotel in the world despite the hotel facilities on site being only a few decades old.


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