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The Keiunkan hot spring hotel, nestled by the Hayakawa River, was in 2011 recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest hotel. Established more than 1,300 years ago, it has soothed the minds and bodies of generations of visitors, including warlords, men of letters, and others with a taste for refinement.

Taking its name from the Keiun era (704-708 CE) in which it opened, the hotel is fed by the gushing waters of Nishiyama Onsen. According to the Nihon Shoki, the oldest chronicle of Japanese history, this hot spring was discovered by the learned priest Joue. Word that the waters had healing properties spread, and in the year 705 the Keiunkan opened, on a river close to the Hayakawa, to take advantage of this superior source of bathing water.

The present location might be different, but the Keiunkan is fed by the very same hot spring as the day it opened; Nishiyama Onsen has not once let up in the centuries since. In 1997 the Keiunkan was entirely remodeled, in order to attract more visitors to what is now one of Japan’s least populated areas. The hotel’s present design pays homage to traditional Japanese aesthetics while being subtly contemporary.

Those lucky enough to stay will find shared and private baths both inside and out, the latter featuring stunning views out over the (sometimes illuminated) river and enclosing mountains. Washi-papered guest rooms, a Japanese restaurant utilizing local ingredients, and other opulent facilities make for an experience to be cherished.



Venue Address

409-2702 Nishiyama Onsen, Hayakawa-cho, Minamikoma-gun

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