• Nikhil Badveli

World's First Hotel : Nishiyama Onsen keiunkan

Today, we have widespread hotel chains like Marriott, Hyatt serving both the average customer and the luxury customer. Surprisingly, hotels have a rich history dating back to 705 AD, originating from an unexpected country.

You must have probably read the weird name in the title and wondered what is it about.

Apparently, it is the name of the world's first hotel. "Nishiyama Onsen keiunkan" was founded in Hayakawa, Yamanashi prefecture, Japan in 705 AD by Fujiwara Mahito operating under a company called Yushima.

This is a typical hot spring hotel you can find in Japan even in the current era. The name of this hotel could be translated to "Western Mountain Hot Springs of Keiun era".

The company operating this hotel is perhaps the second oldest company in the world, still in operation after 52 generations of the same family amounting to 1300 years.

Only in 2011 did Guinness World Records recognized this hotel as the oldest hotel in the world. I don't know why they took so long :)

Similar to most of the onsens in Japan, Nishiyama Onsen keiunkan also lied at the foot of the mountains known as Akaishi.

Since the foundation of this hotel all of its hot water was sourced directly from the nearby Hakuho Springs

The founder of this hotel Fujiwara Mahito-san was a son of an aide to the 38th Emperor of Japan, Emperor Tenji.

Nishiyama Onsen keiunkan has 37 rooms, a splendid restaurant (kaiseki), and a great moon-viewing platform. The rooms are furnished by Tatami mats and classic art while the staff wears nibu-shiki kimonos.

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