Saturday, February 27, 2016

Family Business

Sometimes the children of a business founder grow up and take their role in the family firm. The name may then be changed to reflect the new generation's input: "Smith & Sons," "Smith & Daughter," "Smith Family Co." or something like that. Usually the "family" names tend to crop up when grandchildren hit the picture, as a way of shortening the potentially cumbersome length promised by the addition of new generations.

Had such a convention not existed, the Fujiwara running the Keiunkan Inn in central Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture would certainly have created it, since the current generation is the 52nd to run the hotel, founded by Fujiwara Mahito in 705 AD. The nearness of Mount Fuji and the area's hot springs have helped keep the hotel an attraction of its own instead of just a place to stay while visiting someplace else.

Keiunkan is certified by the Guinness book people as the world's oldest hotel. Sometime in the next few years, its guest registry is expected to surpass Mount Fuji as the tallest point in Japan. Rates start at about $300 a night in U.S. dollars. Feel free to mention my name; it's guaranteed to draw as blank a look there as anywhere else on the globe.

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