The First Hotel in the World - a Story of More Than 1300 Years

The First Hotel in the World - a Story of More Than 1300 Years

Do you know how old the oldest hotel is? Its name is Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, located in Japan and opened its doors for the first time in 705. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it ?!


In fact, the idea of ​​a hotel, although not in its modern form, has existed since the earliest civilizations, because people have always had the need to travel the world. That is why it is difficult to trace the story exactly.

However, researchers claim that the oldest evidence of such a place is from Pompeii from 69 BC. During the Greco-Roman period, as in ancient Persia, similar buildings for rest were made near thermal baths.

The Oldest Still Existing hotel

As already mentioned, this is the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan, which in 2011 was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest hotel in the world. It was founded by Fujiwara Mahito, the son of an aide to Japan’s 38th Emperor Tenji. It initially began as a traditional Japanese khan and has been owned by the same family for 52 generations.

It is located at the foot of Mount Akaishi and has benefited from the Hakuho hot springs since its inception. After that, healing springs became very popular throughout Japan.

Contemporary Look

Currently, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan has 37 rooms and many amenities that were not dreamed of in ancient times – including a restaurant and a special platform for looking of the night sky. Of course, Wi-Fi, tatami mats and the classic furnishings of the rooms, too. However, the hotel is not quite authentic, because in 1997 the owners made major repairs. They retain the traditional architectural style of the original building. In 2005, free-flowing hot water from the springs was introduced into each room.

Unfortunately, the period 2000-2016 is quite difficult for the hotel and its reservations are halved. Therefore, to date, the place is managed by the company Yushima.