What is the secret to a long-lasting and successful business? Just ask the family who runs Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Kyoto, Japan, a hot springs hotel that has been operated by 52 generations of descendants for over 1,300 years. Recognized as the oldest inn in operation by the Guinness World Records, the families have continued to expand the hotel space and modernize its amenities, including newly upgraded baths that pump over a thousand liters of naturally heated water per minute.
While enhancements have been made to this four-star facility, the space still manages to maintain its historic and traditional style and atmosphere. With tatami mat-floored rooms and no internet access, visitors are forced to enjoy the calm and scenic surroundings. Guests can also indulge in the highest quality, locally sourced Koshu beef at the hotel’s restaurant, and partake in Japanese culture with some karaoke. And of course, taking a dip in the renowned natural hot springs while surrounded by astounding views of mountains and ravines is central to the entire experience.
Originally established in 705 AD by Fujiwara Mahito, son of an aid to the 38th emperor of Japan, the hotel has since hosted a wide range of guests from samurai and shogun to politicians and celebrities, to curious visitors spanning the centuries. To this day, the hotel still strives to embody the unchanging hospitality the family has been known for, and will continue to carry on for generations to come.