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The Inn Crowd: Hotels from Somewhere to "Satori"
Posted November 05, 2010 to photo album "The Inn Crowd: Hotels from Somewhere to "Satori""
In setting Somewhere at L.A.’s famed Chateau Marmont, Sofia Coppola tapped into that hotel’s mythic past. We look at other hotels whose histories define them.
Slide 21: Hoshi Ryokan is Built
Mt. Hakusan, one of Japan’s three holy peaks, and Yakushi Nyorai, the healing Buddha.
The Hoshi Ryokan, considered to be the world’s oldest inn, has many stories, most of which are lost to time—and the legendary Japanese circumspection. According to legend, in 717, a logger named Gengoro Sasakiri guided the Buddhist priest Taicho Daishi high up on snow caped Mount Hakusan (2702 meters) for a spiritual retreat. During his first night there, after a day of meditation, the god of Mount Hakusan told Taicho Daishi: “Lying [20-24 kilometers] from the base of the mountain is a village called Awazu. There, you’ll find an underground hot spring with wondrous restorative powers that Yakushi Nyorai [the healing Buddha] has bestowed upon it. The people of the village, however, do not know of this good fortune. Descend the mountain and head to Awazu. With the people of the village unearth the hot spring-it will serve them forever.” So Taicho went to the village, uncovered the springs, and when the sick bathed in them, they were immediately cured. Taicho ordered Garyo Hoshi, his disciple, to build and run a spa at the site. His family have run a ryokan in the village of Awazu ever since.