Last updated 5 years ago
Oldest Hotel in the World Has Been Operated by the Same Family for Over 1,300 Years
What is the secret to a long-lasting and successful business? Just ask the family who runs Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Kyoto, Japan, a hot springs hotel that has been operated by 52 generations of descendants for over 1,300 years. Recognized as the oldest inn in operation by the Guinness World Records, the families have continued to expand the hotel space and modernize its amenities, including newly upgraded baths that pump over a thousand liters of naturally heated water per minute. While e...
Craziest Places for Cat Lovers
Cats outnumber the human residents on Tashirojima Island, near Honshu Island in Japan. In the past, the islanders raised silkworms for silk, relying on stray cats to control the mouse population. The fishermen that followed would feed the cats that hung around the inns, and a kinship developed between the two species, aided by a local belief that looking after cats brings good luck and fortune. The island is now a popular tourist destination, complete with shrines to the feline population and...
World’s Scariest Bridges
These footbridges soar above the forest floor in Ghana’s Kakum National Park. Sure, there are hand rails and net walls that rise up on either side of you—about three-and-a-half to four feet high, anyway—but you’re still walking on a plank of wood no more than one foot wide. Oh yes, and you’re 100 feet off the forest floor. Where: Kakum National Park Stats: 1,000 feet long; 100 feet high.
World’s Most Beautiful Train Stations
Many residents were initially dismayed by the city’s modern “entrance” when it was unveiled in 2005. The station’s wooden hand-drum-shaped Tsuzumi Gate and glass umbrella-shaped Motenashi Dome were controversial because they clashed with the traditional architecture of this old castle town—one of Japan’s best preserved as it was spared in WWII bombings. But the station has been so popular with tourists and photographers that many skeptics have come around to see the beauty in its sleek modern...
Japan's Liquid Gold
Kyoto is known for its temples, gardens, and beauty, so it figures that I'm here to visit a factory. I take a cab from the train station to a nondescript commercial street and enter Denkichi Matsuno's tiny, neat shop, which veils the entrance to his rambling shoyu kojo, or soy sauce factory. The factory is dark and moist. Everything, it seems, is made of wood: beams, planks, buckets, rakes, scoops, and baskets, have all been worn smooth by decades of hard labor. This wood has personality.
T+L Editors Share the Trips on Their Bucket Lists
"I love denim more than anything in fashion (when I’m not Travel + Leisure-ing, I’m running my website, JeanStories.com). Japan is famous for its denim manufacturing and indigo-based textile arts. At the recommendation of my friend Scott Morrison, who designs the cult denim line 3x1 in NYC, I’d start in Kojima in Okayama Prefecture, which is known as the birthplace of Japanese jeans, to shop the “Jean Streets.” Then, I'd visit Arimatsu in Aichi Prefecture, where they do traditional indigo t...