About Kinugawa Kanaya Hotel


Nikko Kanaya Hotel

The Cottage Inn guesthouse, Japan's first accommodations exclusively for foreign guests, would later grow into the Nikko Kanaya Hotel.


The Cottage Inn became what is now the Kanaya Hotel in 1893.

The Kinugawa Onsen Hotel

The Kinugawa Onsen Hotel, founded by John Kanaya's father, Masanari Kanaya, as it appeared in 1931.

The Tsutsuji-no-Ma

The Tsutsuji-no-Ma (“Azalea Room”) common room, furnished in the English style and featuring a top-quality Persian rug.

The restaurant in its early days

The restaurant in its early days. It features an Art Deco interior, a style that was popular worldwide at the time.

Seiyo Zendokoro John Kanaya Azabu

Seiyo Zendokoro John Kanaya Azabu, a French restaurant that served as an extension of Kanaya's culinary experience and expertise, became a favorite of tastemakers.

Stained glass works by Gabriel Loire

Stained glass works by Gabriel Loire (from Kanaya’s private collection) decorated the dining area of Seiyo Zendokoro John Kanaya Azabu.


  • 1873
    Following his encounter with a foreign visitor to Japan (Dr. James Curtis Hepburn, creator of the Hepburn system of romanization for the Japanese language), Nikko Kanaya Hotel founder Zenichiro Kanaya opens a part of his residence as accommodations for foreign guests under the name “Cottage Inn.” This not only marked the beginning of the Kanaya family's foray into the hotel industry, but also triggered the Japanese hotel industry as a whole.
  • 1878
    English writer Isabella Bird stays at the Cottage Inn, which she mentions in her work Unbeaten Tracks in Japan.
  • 1879
    Zenichiro Kanaya's first son Shinichi is born.
  • 1882
    Zenichiro Kanaya's second son Shozo is born.
  • 1888
    Zenichiro Kanaya's first daughter Tama is born.
  • 1893
    Nikko Kanaya Hotel opens with two floors and thirty rooms. The first meeting of the Hotel Friendship Association is held, which will eventually lead to the establishment of the Japan Hotel Association.
  • 1904
    New wing built at the Nikko Kanaya Hotel. Ballroom and guest rooms are expanded.
  • 1910
    Tama Kanaya gives birth to first son Senji on August 22.
  • 1914
    Shinichi Kanaya purchases fourteen Ford automobiles for guest car services; takes the opportunity to found an automobile company, dramatically changing the face of transit in Nikko.
    Shozo Kanaya becomes managing director of the Hakone Fujiya Hotel after marrying into the Yamaguchi family; appointed president in 1943.
  • 1927
    To coincide with the opening of the Tobu Railway from Tokyo's Asakusa district to Nikko, construction begins on a vast, 76,000 square meter hotel.
  • 1928
    The family establishes Kanaya Hotel Co., Ltd., with Shinichi Kanaya as president.
  • 1931
    The Kinugawa Onsen Hotel is opened as the Nikko Kanaya Hotel's Kinugawa Onsen branch, with Tama Kanaya's husband, Masanari, becoming the first general manager.
  • 1938
    Kinugawa Onsen Hotel is destroyed in a fire.
  • 1940
    Kinugawa Onsen Hotel is rebuilt at the family's expense.
  • 1942
    Senji Kanaya's first son Teruo is born.
  • 1953
    The Kinugawa Onsen Hotel Company is established as an independent offshoot of the Kanaya Hotel Company, with Senji Kanaya as president.
  • 1957
    Kinugawa Onsen Hotel is destroyed in a fire, but rebuilt the following year.
  • 1960
    Upon its opening, Hotel New Japan appoints Senji Kanaya as managing director.
  • 1967
    Kinugawa Onsen Hotel Co. moves head office to Tokyo in order to expand operations in the metropolitan area.
  • 1969
    Kinugawa Onsen Hotel Co. renamed to Kanaya Hotel Tourism Co.
  • 1971
    Ten-story head office building is completed in Tokyo's Roppongi district in April; Western-style restaurant, Seiyo Zendokoro John Kanaya Azabu, opens in the building.
    Hiroyuki Sakai becomes first head chef.
  • 1973
    Teruo Kanaya's first son Joji is born.
  • 1976
    English-style pub John Kanaya opens in the head office building.
    Teruo Kanaya becomes president of Kanaya Hotel Tourism Co.
  • 1978
    Kinugawa Kanaya Hotel opens.
  • 1981
    A ten-year-long renovation of the Kinugawa Onsen Hotel begins.
  • 1989
    Common baths made from ancient Japanese cypress installed in the Kinugawa Kanaya Hotel.
  • 1991
    Kinugawa Onsen Hotel renovation completed; women's bath, outdoor bath, and all-season indoor heated pool added.
  • 2004
    Seiyo Zendokoro John Kanaya Azabu closes to the disappointment of many celebrities.
  • 2005
    Kinugawa Kanaya Hotel is renovated. Club floor is added.
  • 2010
    Kinugawa Onsen Hotel renovated over two construction periods, under the theme of “bringing people together through travel.”
  • 2011
    Joji Kanaya becomes president of Kanaya Hotel Tourism Co.
  • 2012
    Massive two-month renovation begins on April 17.
    Kinugawa Kanaya Hotel reopens as “John Kanaya's beloved 'Villa in the Valley.'”
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