This 1300 year old Hotel has been run by the same family for 46 generations

Image Source: @ karina.takarai

Hōshi Ryokan might be a building you’ve heard of before if you’re interested in travelling or history and for good reason. Founded in 718, it is over 1300 years old. The ryokan has been held within the same family for forty six generations! Hōshi can be found in the hot spring resort of Komatsu, Japan, a city known for its past productions of silk and ceramic.

But what exactly is a ryokan?

A ryokan is a sort of inn originating in Japan. You’ll experience communal baths, traditional Japanese wear and spend time with the owner. You’ll typically find these establishments up and down Japanese roads. If you’re looking to find one of these in Japan’s big, modern cities then you’ll probably struggle. They’re more often found in rural towns and can be a lot more expensive than your usual hotels so visits to a ryokan are suggested more for enthusiasts.

Hōshi Ryokan, however, is not the oldest hotel in the world, but the second oldest. The oldest hotel in the world is still found within Japan (we’re starting to see a pattern emerge here) and its name is Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan. Much like Hōshi, it is a place where you can find hot springs, typical in Japan for people to be able to relax. Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is found within Hayakawa which is the smallest town in all of Japan (population-speaking). Founded in 705, the ryokan beats Hōshi by thirteen years. This may not seem like a big deal but when these two ryokans are competing over the oldest inn in the world, a little more than a decade can separate Hōshi and Nishiyama. Not only does Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan hold the title of oldest hotel, it is also known as one of the oldest companies still in operation in the entire world.

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Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan was not recognised for its massive length of existence until 2011 when the well known Guinness Book of Records awarded them the achievement of being the oldest hotel in the world. This hotel also was managed and run by the same family. Hōshi was held within forty six generations and Nishiyama fifty two generations, both spanning over 1300 years. Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan seems to have defeated Hōshi on all grounds.

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan can be found at the bottom of the Akaishi Mountains and since being established in 705, has acquired all of its water from the Hakuho Springs.