Keiunkan, Yamanashi: Guinness World Record Holder for Being “The Oldest Hotel in the World”
The world’s oldest hot springs hotel, do you know of it? In fact the world’s oldest hotel is here in Japan. We introduce you to the hotel that is officially recognized as the oldest from its numerous books and preserved artefacts.
About the Keiunkan
The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a hotel that is owns the Nishiyama Hot Springs in Yamanashi Prefecture. It started its business operation in 705 AD and has an extremely long history of over 1,300 years. In 2011, it was certified by the Guinness World Records to be the world’s oldest (the certification still stands today). The owner of the hotel has been a position that has been passed down generation after generation. Now the hotel is owned by the 52nd generation. In its history, many famous individuals from the Koken Empress to the Feudal Lord Takeda Shingen and Ruler Tokugawa Ieyasu have stayed and bathed in these hot springs. Information: Map
The Appeals of Keiunkan
1. Overwhelming Power of the Spring
The main feature is the spring as a powerful source of hot water. Water has continued to flow for over 1,300 years without drying. In 2005, which marked the 1,300th year since they opened the hot springs, they even found a new source of water. As a result, there is a flow of about 2,000 liters of water per minute. The spring is top class in the world for the amount of water that wells out of the springs, but because 1 hotel owns it, the water from the spring can be used not only for the huge bath and their outdoor bath but also parts of their facility such as the shower, the baths in the guest rooms, the washrooms…all the liquid that comes out of the faucet of the facility is direct from the source without any added heat or dilution from other sources of water. This is an extremely unique feature.
Some of you may be disappointed to hear that because of its old history, the hotel has been renovated and restored numerous times. It is so clean that you do not feel the 1,300 years of history. It’s as if it was a huge hotel.
3. Authentic Japanese Cuisine
You see they don’t cut corners for their cooking either. They strive to provide authentic Japanese dishes are up to par with the highest class Japanese restaurants. They make sure they don’t put their Guinness World Record to shame.
Must-Try Baths in Keiunkan
Boukei no Yu (Boukei Springs), https://www.tripadvisor.jp/
Keiunkan has 6 different baths, but we suggest you definitely bathe in the Boukei Springs; as it is the bath that represents the Keiunkan. Being at the foothills of the Southern Alps, it is deep in the mountains; couldn’t at all say that it is easy access. However, because it is in the wilderness, the atmosphere of the outdoor bath is exquisite. The wooden bathtub has a nice woody aroma and a nice texture against the skin. You are sure to have the most relaxing time. Bathing in the fresh air under the beautiful starry sky is recommended too.
The second is a private outdoor bath Kawane. You can make a reservation after arrival, you can enjoy the stone-made outdoor bath to yourself for free (for a limited length of time). Even if you were not lucky enough to get a reservation, the bath is accessible after 10 PM.
A history of 1,300 years; if you think about it, it really is quite amazing. Wouldn’t you want to visit the hot springs hotel that noble people who appear in textbooks of Japanese history have bathed in?