Japan’s 1,300-year-old inn Hōshi Ryokan is a marvel of resilience and tradition
Founded in 718, Houshi Ryokan is one of the longest running businesses in the world. Astonishingly, the traditional Japanese inn–ryokan (a traditional japanese style hotel)– built on a hot spring near the city of Awazu – has always been owned by the same family.
Hotel has been visited by the Japanese Imperial Family and countless great artists over the centuries. Its buildings were destroyed by natural disasters many times, but the family has always rebuilt. The garden as well as some parts of the hotel are over 400 years old.
Houshi (法師) means buddhist priest. It is the name of the family as well as of the hotel. And their only son, next in line to take over Houshi Ryokan, recently passed away, and their daughter, a somewhat reluctant participant in the family business, is yet to take a husband. This leaves them with a challenging question: is it time to break tradition and make their daughter the 47th owner?