As it is written the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest hotel still in operation is the Hoshi Ryokan, in Komatsu, Japan that you may not imagine but opened as early as in 718. The hotel has been managed by the same family for more than forty generations.
The origins of Houshi, the most ancient inn in the world are truly divine. According to legend in 717 a noted priest Taicho climbed high up Mt Hakusan, a sacred and separated mountain. While Taicho was asleep one night after beginning his rigorous training exercises, the God of Hakusan appeared in his dream.
He made him go to a village named Awazu as an underground hot spring lay there hidden with wondrous powers. The people of the village did not know of the good fortune. After dreaming Taicho made his way down to the village and revealed the gem laying beneath the earth’s surface. Afterwards the monk requested his disciple to create and operate a spa at the site.
Generation after generation, Houshi homeowners got the name Zengoro Houshi. The first Zengoro led Taicho Daishi to the top of Mt. Hakusan. Many people undergoing illnesses stayed at the spa built. People started to make donations. He then used these funds to expand the services he provided.
These days the hotel provides a hundred rooms and can accommodate up to 450 guests. Guests are received with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. For relaxation, visitors can walk through the traditional Japanese gardens or wear a kimono, provided for their use after plunging in either the indoor or outdoor hot springs.
The rooms of the hotel have hosted Imperial Family members and are used continuingly for movies and television shows.
If you want to encounter Japanese traditional and historical hospitality, then Hoshi Ryokan is the location to be and read more interesting posts in our Siófok hotel blog.