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  • See & Do
  • Nikko Area

Kanaya Hotel History House

In 1870, Dr. James C. Hepburn, an American medical missionary, visited Nikko and stayed at the house of Zenichiro Kanaya, who was a member of Gagaku (an ancient imperial court music) orchestra of the Toshogu Shrine. Foreseeing an increase in the number of foreign tourists to Nikko, Dr. Hepburn suggested that Kanaya open a hotel for foreigners. Following Hepburn’s advice, Zenichiro remodeled his house and opened “Kanaya Cottage Inn” in 1873.

Kanaya’s house was originally a residence of samurai warriors during the Edo period. For its unique architectural characteristics, Kanaya Cottage Inn was called “Samurai House” by its foreign guests.

In 1893, Zenichiro relocated his business and opened “Kanaya Hotel” on the top of the hill that overlooks the River Daiya. It was Japan’s first full-fledged western-style resort hotel and has been in operation at the same place to date.

The Kanaya Samurai House and warehouse were registered as a National Tangible Cultural Property in 2014 and opened to the public as the Kanaya Hotel History House in 2015.

Location Map

Basic Information

Address 1-25 Honcho, Nikko City, Tochigi
Telephone Number 0288-50-1873
Website https://nikko-kanaya-history.jp/en/
Business Hours 〔Mar.–Nov.〕 9:30–17:00 (ticketing closes at 16:30)〔Dec.–Feb.〕 10:00 –15:00 (ticketing closes at 14:30)
Days Closed for Business 〔Dec.–Feb.〕 2 or 3 non-business days a month
Price Adult 550 yen Children 275 yen (6–12 yrs.old)
Map Code 367 311 105*44

Nikko Area

The Nikko area, in the northwestern part of the prefecture, is particularly mountainous. In the midst of the rich nature, including the 2,486-meter-high volcano Mt. Nantai, Lake Chuzenji, and Kegon Falls, there are numerous shrines and temples that are registered as UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites. From Kinugawa Onsen to Kawaji Onsen, hot springs can also be found throughout the area. There are a wide range of outdoor activities to enjoy as well, such as stand-up paddleboarding in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter.

Seasons in Tochigi