If you’re got a soft spot for hotels that transport you back to another era, it’s likely that you’ve had a few stays at one of the many hotels in Europe that have been around since the 19th century. But, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest continuously running hotel in the world isn’t in London or Paris in Rome. That honorary title goes to Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a 37-room hot spring hotel in the town of Hayakawa, Japan.
Here are some fascinating facts about the hotel, which you should put on your bucket list immediately. And for more hotels that are worth the plane ticket alone, check out The 10 Most Jaw-Dropping Hotels in the World.
It’s Been Around Since 705 A.D.
The reason it’s called the Keiunkan is because it was founded in the second year of the Keiun era, which spanned from May 704 through January 708 AD. Back then, it was used by the local villagers and traveling military commanders as a place to relax and unwind in the harmony of nature. It is rumored that Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which essentially ruled the country from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, visited the springs twice himself. Following the unification of Japan, it was called the secret hot spring of Takeda Shingen, a Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku period, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
It’s Stayed In the Family
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a true family business, having been passed down to 52 (!!!) generations. And for some lovely locations much closer to home, here are 50 Destinations So Magical You Won’t Believe They’re in the U.S.
It’s a Natural Hot Springs
The Keiunkan lies at the base of the Akaishi Mountains, which are also known as the Japanese Alps, and gets all of its hot water sourced directly from the local Hakuho Springs.
It’s Fairy Accessible
It’s only 83 miles west of Tokyo, so it makes for an easy overnight trip if you’re based in the city. If you rent a car, it’s less than a three hour drive. There are also bus and train options available, though those will set you back over four hours. And you can visit the world-famous Mount Fuji, which is located in the province, on your way there.
It’s Not Too Expensive
Rates for a “Japanese-style room” that can accommodate two to five guests start at just $284, and it includes two meals and a stunning view of the mountains and river. For another notable destination to put on your list, check out the New Top-Rated Restaurant in the World.
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