The Kanaya Hotel History House (Jzej, Kanya Hotel Rekishikan) is a historical building in Nikko that served as the predecessor of the celebrated Kanaya Hotel. The house is open for the public to explore and provides a window into the Nikko of centuries past. It stands next to a bakery which also sells the admission tickets for the house.

After the end of Japan's era of isolation, Nikko became a popular summer resort among the foreign diplomats and business people that arrived in the country. The Kanaya Hotel has been one of the premier hotels in the area for accommodating such guests and today stands as the oldest Western-style hotel in all of Japan. While the hotel is now located one kilometer down the road on a hill above the Shinkyo Bridge, its history began at the Kanaya Hotel History House.

The building used to be a residence of Mr. Kanaya and was turned into and opened as a guesthouse in 1872. As the Kanaya Cottage Inn it served travelers for roughly twenty years before it was replaced by the Kanaya Hotel on a separate site. Among the guests who stayed at the inn are Albert Einstein and Isabella Bird, a 19th century British travel writer who contributed to introducing Nikko to the Western world.

The wooden building is two stories high which is rare for residences from that era. Today, visitors can explore the building's tatami rooms and intricate stairways and corridors, and view the property's nice garden.

Getting there and around

Kanaya Hotel History House is located ten minute bus ride from Tobu and JR Nikko stations (320 yen one way, 500 yen day pass, covered by the Nikko Passes). Get off at the Kanya Hotel Rekishikan (Jzej) bus stop. The house can also be reached in about a 20 minute walk from Toshogu Shrine and is also not far from the Tamozawa Villa.

How to get around Nikko

Hours and Fees


9:30 to 16:30 (March to November)
10:00 to 15:00 (December to February)
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.


2-3 irregular closing days per month from December to February


550 yen



Hotels around Nikko

Recommended Hotels
Chuzenjiko Kanaya Hotel
Upscale mountain lodge style hotel in rustic log cabin buildings set in the forest.
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Nikko Kanaya Hotel
This historic hotel was one of the first Western style hotels in Japan. It is conveniently located across the street from the temples and shrines of Nikko.
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Turtle Inn Nikko
Inexpensive inn popular among foreign tourists, conveniently located 15 minutes walk from Nikko's temples and shrines.
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