What is the secret to a successful and long-lasting business? Just ask the family that manages Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a hot springs hotel in Kyoto, Japan, which has been run by 52 generations of ancestors for over 1,300 years. The family have continued to extend the hotel area and enhance its services, including freshly refurbished bathrooms that pump over a thousand gallons of naturally heated water per minute, and have been recognized as the oldest inn in existence by Guinness World Records.
While this four-star facility has been upgraded, it nevertheless manages to keep its historic and traditional design and atmosphere. Visitors are compelled to enjoy the tranquil and picturesque surroundings due to the tatami mat-floored rooms and the lack of internet connectivity. The hotel’s restaurant serves high-quality, locally produced Koshu beef, as well as karaoke, so guests may immerse themselves in Japanese culture. Taking a swim in the famed natural hot springs while surrounded by breathtaking vistas of mountains and ravines is, of course, a highlight of the trip.
Founded in 705 AD by Fujiwara Mahito, son of an aide to Japan’s 38th emperor, the hotel has welcomed a diverse spectrum of guests throughout the years, from samurai and shogun to politicians and celebrities, to inquisitive visitors. The hotel continues to endeavor to represent the constant hospitality for which the family has been recognized, and will do so for future generations.