Where Can You Visit the World’s Oldest Hotel?

Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a traditional Japanese inn located near Mt. Fuji, has been continuously operating since 705 A.D.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a traditional Japanese inn located near Mt. Fuji, has been continuously operating since 705 A.D.

When you're traveling, it's always nice to stay somewhere with a bit of history and character. And while there are some iconic hotels located all over the world – NYC's Plaza Hotel, Singapore's Raffles Hotel, London's Claridge's, and the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo spring to mind – you'll have to head to Japan if you want to stay in the Guinness World Record holder for "Oldest Hotel."

Located near Mt. Fuji, the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) that has been in continuous operation since 705 A.D., when it was founded by Fujiwara Mahito. The hot springs resort has been in the same family for 52 generations, and although it has undergone significant changes and renovations over the centuries, it has never closed its doors. Over the years, the famous inn has attracted numerous celebrities and political figures – including samurai, shoguns, and emperors – who have come to enjoy a bath in the relaxing hot springs-fed tub, drink the healing waters, and enjoy the spectacular views.

The hotel continues to welcome guests to it 37 traditionally-decorated rooms, with prices for a one-night stay starting at around $408 USD.

Be our guest:

  • All of the world's oldest hotels are located in Japan. For example, the second-oldest hotel is the Hōshi ryokan, which opened in 718 A.D.

  • Zum Roten Baeren in Freiburg, Germany, is the oldest hotel in Europe. Dating back to 1120, it predates the city in which it stands.

  • The Olde Bell in Hurley, England, opened its doors as a guesthouse in 1135. It was originally built to accommodate pilgrims traveling to the nearby priority.

Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman is a teacher and blogger who frequently writes for wiseGEEK about topics related to personal finance, parenting, health, nutrition, and education.
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman is a teacher and blogger who frequently writes for wiseGEEK about topics related to personal finance, parenting, health, nutrition, and education.

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    • Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a traditional Japanese inn located near Mt. Fuji, has been continuously operating since 705 A.D.
      Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a traditional Japanese inn located near Mt. Fuji, has been continuously operating since 705 A.D.