You have probably seen Kanaya Hotel from Shinkyo Bridge. But have you heard of the Kanaya Hotel History House?
For generations, males of the Kanaya family served Toshogu Shrine as members of the Gagaku (an ancient imperial court music) orchestra. Zenichiro was working at the shrine as a sho player when he offered Dr. James C. Hepburn a room to stay in 1870. It was during this trip that Dr. Hepburn advised Zenichiro to open a hotel for foreign tourists. Following his advice, Zenichiro transformed his house into Kanaya Cottage Inn, the predecessor of Kanaya Hotel.
The house was a samurai warrior’s residence during the Edo period, and it attracted foreign guests who referred to Kanaya Cottage Inn as Samurai House.
After Zenichiro relocated his business to the place where Kanaya Hotel currently is, the Samurai House has been preserved in the same location for more than 120 years.
In 2014, it was registered as a nationally-designated cultural property and opened to the public in March 2015 under the name of Kanaya Hotel History House.
It is only a few minutes away from Shinkyo Bridge and the World Heritage Area, so stop by and take a look at the amazing architecture!
Address: 1-25 Honcho, Nikko
Access: From JR or Tobu Nikko Station, take a bus bound for Chuzenji or Yumoto and get off at “Kanaya Hotel Rekishikan” Bus Stop.