Aruji (master)
At Houshi we are immensely proud of our history, which spans 1,300 years and 46 generations. This pride is not based on our being the oldest hotel in the world, but on our preservation of the resolve that led to Houshi's establishment so long ago. And while upholding many fine traditions we have integrated new ways of doing things to create a harmonious and seamless atmosphere. Experience it for yourself, won't you?

46th Zengoro Houshi

The lives of the Zengoros

In 718, Garyo Houshi, a follower of Taicho Daishi who was to become the first Zengoro, established Houshi as a spa for helping people cure a variety of illnesses.

In 990, at the time of the 10th Zengoro, the retired and pious Emperor Hanayama visited Jishuzan Genyaji Temple. He renamed the temple Natadera Temple and in subsequent years often visited Houshi to bathe.

At the time of the 17th Zengoro, the Genji (Minamoto) clan and the Heike (Taira) clan began fighting for military supremacy.

In 1189 Yoshitsune Minamoto and Musashibo Benkei passed Ataka no Seki. While the 27th Zengoro was running Houshi, a riot broke out. It is said that Rennyo Shonin (Saint Rennyo) disguised himself as a Houshi chef.

Enshu Kobori visited Houshi and guided the creation of a garden at the time of the 33rd Zengoro. Around this time old kutani was also created.

In 1640 Toshitsune Maeda, lord of Kaga, visited Houshi and a Komon cedar was planted in commemoration. At the time of the 35th Zengoro, Basho Matsuo traveled around Hokuriku and wrote the haiku Ishiyama no ishi yori shiroshi aki no kaze.

In 1779, the 39th Zengoro oversaw the establishment of a code called the "21 spa rules.

" At the time of the 41st Zengoro, the eight most scenic spots in Awazu- Awazu hakkei-were officially designated.

Taro Katsura stayed at Houshi and wrote Zengoro at Enmeikaku when the 43rd Zengoro was at the helm of Houshi.

Under the guidance of the 46th Zengoro, Houshi joined Les Henokiens, an organization comprised of companies from around the world with a history of at least 200 years.
In 1994 Houshi was recognized as the oldest hotel in the world by the publishers of The Guinness Book of Records.
Calligraphy written by Taro Katsura, an elder statesman in the Meiji era, when he stayed at Houshi.
46th Zengoro Houshi
Chizuko Houshi