For travellers, inns and hotels are important places for rest and relaxation. More than two thousand years ago in Europe, the Romans invented this kind of business, but almost all the places from that time are gone forever or in ruins. However, in the Eastern country of Japan, there is one hotel that stayed and has never ceased to operate in more than 1300 years. The hotel is found in the Ishikawa prefecture. It is called Hoshi Ryokan and is a traditional Japanese inn and part of Awazu hot springs, in the Komatsu area.
This place keeps the well-earned Guinness record for Oldest Hotel and has been run by the same family for 46 generations. The inn still stands tall today, visited by tourists from all over the planet.
The story begins in 717, when the great Buddhism teacher Taicho Daishi got a vision in his sleep – the spirit of the mountain enlightened him about a miraculous underground spring, located in the village of Awazu. Next morning he followed the instructions of the deity – to go to the village at the base of the mountain, to seek help from the villagers and unearth the spring. The waters of the hot spring were to cure the people of their diseases and illnesses. To this day, people come to bathe in those curing waters, believing in their restorative powers.
The Japanese honour the timeless traditions but are always open to the new, so the Hoshi Ryokan did not get stuck in the past, even though its facade is the same. Hoshi is always evolving and expanding, offering world class service for the guests, and today it can accommodate 450 people in 100 spacious rooms.