The Tokyo State Guest House, also known as the Akasaka Palace, is a stunning neo-Baroque building that serves as the official accommodation for visiting dignitaries in Tokyo.
Designed by architect Katayama Tokuma, the palace was completed in 1909 and has since hosted numerous international leaders and royalty.
Construction and Purpose
The Tokyo State Guest House was originally built as the Crown Prince’s Palace to accommodate the future Emperor Taisho. The palace’s design was heavily influenced by European architecture, particularly the Palace of Versailles, to showcase Japan’s modernization and growing influence on the world stage.
Conversion to State Guest House
In 1974, the palace was repurposed as the State Guest House to accommodate visiting dignitaries. Over the years, the Akasaka Palace has hosted numerous prominent figures, including Queen Elizabeth II, President Barack Obama, and President Vladimir Putin.
The main building of the Tokyo State Guest House is an impressive example of Western-style architecture. Its exterior features a grand staircase, intricate stone carvings, and a beautiful central courtyard. The interior boasts lavish rooms and halls, such as the Asahi no Ma (State Banquet Hall), the Kiri no Ma (Drawing Room), and the Hagoromo no Ma (Main Hall), all adorned with exquisite artwork, chandeliers, and furnishings.
In contrast to the European-inspired main building, the Japanese-style annex, or Yushintei, showcases traditional Japanese architecture and craftsmanship. The annex includes a traditional Japanese tea room and a Noh stage, where Noh performances can be held for visiting dignitaries.
Gardens and Grounds
The palace grounds are impeccably maintained, featuring a mixture of Japanese and Western-style gardens. The serene landscape offers visitors a chance to enjoy a leisurely stroll while admiring the picturesque surroundings.
The Tokyo State Guest House is open to the public on select days, with certain areas accessible for tours. It’s essential to check the official website for the latest information on opening days and tour schedules, as these can change due to official functions or events.
Tips for Visiting
- Plan your visit well in advance, as the State Guest House has limited public access.
- Be prepared to undergo security checks upon entering the premises.
- Photography is not allowed inside the buildings, but you can take pictures of the exterior and gardens.
The Tokyo State Guest House is located in the Akasaka area of Tokyo. The nearest stations are Yotsuya Station (JR Chuo, Sobu, and Tokyo Metro Namboku and Marunouchi lines) and Aoyama-Itchome Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza, Hanzomon, and Toei Oedo lines). From these stations, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the palace entrance.
|Name||Tokyo State Guest House (Akasaka Palace)|
|Address||2-1-1 Moto-Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo, Japan|
|Nearest Station||Yotsuya Station (JR Chuo, Sobu, and Tokyo Metro Namboku and Marunouchi lines) or Aoyama-Itchome Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza, Hanzomon, and Toei Oedo lines)|
|Opening Hours||Generally open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (last entry at 4:00 PM); closed on Mondays and during specific events or official functions. Check the official website for the latest information.|
|Admission Fees||Main Building: 1,500 yen for adults, 500 yen for junior high and high school students, free for elementary school students and younger.|
|Japanese-style Annex (Yushintei): 1,000 yen for adults, 300 yen for junior high and high school students, free for elementary school students and younger.|
|Nearby Hotels||1. The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho|
|2. Hotel New Otani Tokyo The Main|
|3. ANA InterContinental Tokyo|
|4. The Capitol Hotel Tokyu|
|5. Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu|
Please note that opening hours, admission fees, and hotel rates may change, so it’s a good idea to check the official website a