This hotel is older than...

Good morning everyone,

They said it was going to be a gorgeous weekend, but as it gets closer and closer it's looking less and less fantastic...a couple of days ago, they were calling for sunny weather and highs between 18C and 20 for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Now they are saying that Saturday will be overcast, Sunday will rain and by the time next Wednesday rolls around, highs will be back down around 11C. I guess spring must really be coming, eh? (because of the 3 days cold, 4 days warm pattern, 三寒四温, right?)
Keiunkan Inn in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture is famous for holding the Guinness World Record for being “The oldest hotel in the world”. Established in 705 A.D., it boasts such notable former guests as daimyo Takeda Shingen, shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, and numerous emperors of Japan.

The inn itself is located in the southern alps of Yamanashi Prefecture, nestled in lush valleys in the very heart of nature. It’s the perfect location for escaping from the hustle and bustle of city life. What’s more, the inn is built upon prime hot springs ground, which means guests are able to enjoy numerous open-air and communal hot spring baths. Each room’s shower, bath and sink facilities are fed by pure hot spring water, which is neither treated nor heated by any artificial means. In fact, except for the toilets, the entire inn uses the hot springs water in its daily running, which makes it a very special and luxurious place to visit.

The baths

As we mentioned above, the entire inn is serviced by the natural water of the on-site hot springs, including of course the onsen baths and the open-air bathing pools. The quality of the water is top-notch, and the view of the valley from the baths is incredible. What’s more, every single one of the many baths is open for bathing 24 hours a day!

The accommodation

The ultra-Japanese building comprises a total of 35 guest suites. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover that the accommodation consists of two large Japanese-style rooms, giving you plenty of space to relax. The only problem for me is the price – at Y32,000 per person, per night, it’s a little on the expensive side. (and by a little, I mean really a lot!)

The cuisine

Dinner at Keiunkan is kaiseki style, meaning that your meal is brought to your room and served to you dish by dish. The cuisine includes lots of fresh ingredients from the local mountains and river, and there is plenty to satisfy even the heartiest eater. There are also several unusual dishes that you don’t often get the opportunity to taste in Japan – like “acorn soba”.

Breakfast is also comprised of a vast array of dishes which are more than enough to get you going on your day. One interesting point is that, instead of serving the usual white rice, Keiunkan provides okayu rice porridge with breakfast, which is gentler on the stomach.

So, what do you think? Would you like to stay at the oldest hotel in the world? I'd like to give it a try...but only if I can find some rich 'sugar-mama' to take Sumire...hint, hint!

Have a great day!

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