When we think of an old company, we usually do not think of a company older than a couple of decades. But did you know, the oldest company in the world was founded in 578 AD and is still operational today?
There are numerous such companies that have been established almost a millennium ago and are still run by members of the same family today.
Here are the top 5 oldest companies in the world that are still operational almost 2000 years later.
1. Kongō Gumi
Located in Osaka, Japan, Kongō Gumi was established in 578 AD and is the oldest operating company in the world. It is a construction company that was founded by an immigrant, who was commissioned by Prince Shotoku to build the Shitennō-ji Buddhist temple. It was once a family-owned construction company till 2006 but when the company struggled financially and became a subsidiary of Takamatsu.
2. Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a hot spring hotel in Hayakawa, Japan that was founded in 705 AD. The hotel has been managed for over 1,300 years by the same family. Earlier in 2011, it was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest hotel.
Koman Hotel is the third oldest company in the world that was founded in 717 AD. It was established by Hiuke Gonnokami and has been passed on for over 46 generations.
4. Hōshi Ryokan
Another traditional Japanese hotel, Hōshi Ryokan, was founded in 718 AD and is the fourth oldest company in the world and the third oldest hotel. The hotel has been managed by the same family for 46 generations.
5. Genda Shigyō
Genda Shigyo is a ceremonial paper goods company that was founded in 771 AD. The company specializes in mizuhiki, colorful paper twisted into cords that are used at events such as funerals and weddings.