The Nikko Kanaya Hotel, nestled in the hills of Tochigi Prefecture, is the oldest Western resort hotel constructed in Japan. It is beloved by Meiji Era (1868-1912) connoisseurs for its pioneering role in the history of the Japanese hospitality industry. Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the hotel’s founding, and having been designated a Tangible Cultural Property in 2005, the structure is a remarkable example of the art and architecture of its time.

Starting from humble beginnings in 1873 when the Kanaya family converted their home into an inn, 20 years later the family constructed a grand hotel on 14 acres of land under the direction of its patriarch Zenichiro Kanaya (1852-1923).