Travel & Tourism

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan: Basking in natural world

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (Yamanashi, Japan), has earned the distinction as the oldest hotel in the world. It has an enduring history and endowed with ennobling facilities, with many retaining vestige of historicity and amazing feel that make staying at the property a most cherished experience for anyone. According to record, the hotel is cast in the toga of a traditional Japanese inn. In terms of ownership, it goes way back to over 52 generations of one family, with the original owner passing it on to generations after him and it has ever remained in that same family as a most guided heritage of some sorts. The history of the Keiunkan inn dates back 1300 years to the year 705AD (the 2nd year of the Keiun era), and was founded by Fujiwara Mahito. Because it was founded in the Keiun era, the inn was thus named Keiunkan.

Nishiyama Hot Spring

The Nishiyama Hot Spring, Keiunkan is one of the main attractions of the hotel and it is said to have attracted many townsfolk and military commanders of the warring period. Amidst the unification of Japan after the warring period, it is said that Tokugawa Ieyasu visited the hotel twice. Later, it was called the secret hot spring of Takeda Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu. No matter how much time has passed, Keiunkan embodies the unchanging hospitality fuelled by the spirit of Japanese harmony towards guests. It is an inn at the foot of the South Japanese Alps in Yamanashi Prefecture and has all of its hot water directly sourced from the hot spring. Keiunkan is located in Yamanashi Prefecture, the same region as the World Heritage- listed Mt. Fuji. Keiunkan has four open-air baths and two indoor baths for a total of six baths. There are four different sources of the natural hot spring, and the water has the properties of sodium, calcium nitrate and chloride spring (low alkaline properties) and is sourced from the chasm of the Earth, Fossa Magna, cultivated over eons of time.


Among its facilities, are its 37 poster rooms, which all stylishly decorated in the traditional Japanese motifs, all still retaining a tinge of their originality despite renovation over the years. Most of the guest rooms are said to have a spacious 12-tatami mat area, with cozy Japanese decorations. The furnishings are of traditional Japanese tastes, bringing pleasantry to one’s heart. Some of the rooms’ categories include Suite rooms, which are of enchanting luxury with their calming designs. Outside view include the mountains of Kai resembling shan shui paint-ings, and the beautiful view of the Hayakawa and Yukawa ravines. While in the other categories, one can enjoy mountain, river gorge and valley views. In terms of capacity, some of the rooms can be occupied by two – seven guests. Some of the amenities on display include: Toothbrush, towel, bath/toilet towel, razor, hair dryer, yukata, washlet (bidet), air conditioning, heating, refrigerator, television, and safe-deposit box.


Guests are treated to delightsome culinary palates in terms of dining and wining, with a dose of traditional offers that are rare to come by. For instance, the limited banquet, include the ‘Mountain Kaiseki Banquet,’ which is said to have the highest quality of ingredients in season and is prepared with care and attention to details care the chef, and served with prized dinnerware. Warm dishes are served warm while cold dishes are served cold.




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