3. Hoshi Ryokan (Ishikawa)
Hoshi Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn located in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu in Ishikawa Prefecture. The historic inn was founded in the year 718, making it the third oldest in Japan and the world. This hotel is not only old, its origins are divine. According to legend, the god of Mount Hakusan visited a Buddhist priest, telling him to uncover an underground hot spring in a nearby village. The hot spring was found, and the priest requested that his disciple, Garyo Saskiri, build and run a spa on the site. His family, known as Hoshi, has owned and run the hotel in Komatsu ever since for 46 generations.
Guests are warmly welcomed with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, which is part of the charm. Relaxation is key here, with guests able to stroll in one of the traditional Japanese landscape gardens, soak in either the indoor or outdoor hot springs, and slip into a yukata (light summer kimono) for even more comfort.
2. Sennen no Yu Koman (Hyogo)
Sennen no Yu Koman is an elegant hot spring hotel located in the famous resort town of Kinosaki Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture. The historic hotel occupies a traditional wooden building and is the second oldest hotel in the world, turning 1,300 years old in 2017. It's the perfect place to stay in an onsen town to experience traditional Japanese-style accommodation with tatami straw mats and kaiseki-ryori (multi-course meals).
All the guest rooms are designed after traditional Japanese tea ceremony rooms, giving you the chance to take in some refined charm. The hotel is located in the center of the town, making it perfect for onsen-hopping to soak in the seven famous open-air hot springs of Kinosaki.
1. Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (Yamanashi)
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan boasts over 1,300 years of history, making it the world’s longest-standing hot spring inn and giving it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World’s Oldest Hotel."
Dating from the year 705, the second year of the Keiun Era (704-708), this refined hot spring hotel is picturesquely situated at the foot of the southern Japan Alps in Yamanashi Prefecture. The name Keiunkan comes from its founding in the Keiun Era by Fujiwara Mahito. It has been a popular spot and has hosted a wide range of guests from samurai and shogun to politicians and emperors spanning the centuries. This amazing place has been operated by 52 generations of the same family since its founding, creating a wonderful piece of history and unchanged hospitality that you can enjoy as a guest.