State Guest House Akasaka Palace 迎賓館赤坂離宮
Tour this opulent palace where Japan welcomes heads of state, royalty and dignitaries from all over the world
The State Guest House Akasaka Palace, located in Yotsuya, Tokyo's administrative district, is a neobaroque-style palace where official meetings and state dinners are held. It is also the official accommodation for visiting state dignitaries.
Originally constructed as the Crown Prince's Palace in 1909, at the height of imperial power during the Meiji period (1868-1912)
Anyone can visit the main building and gardens; however, if you would like to visit the Japanese-style annex, booking a guided tour is required
How to Get There
A seven-minute walk from Yotsuya Station.
The State Guest House Akasaka Palace can be accessed from major areas in Tokyo on the JR Chuo-Sobu Line and the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Namboku lines.
Japan's official guest house
The palace provides accommodations for heads of state visiting Japan and is the venue for official meetings, international conferences and summits.
The Buckingham Palace of Japan
Just as England's Buckingham Palace is an elaborate national symbol of royal hospitality, the State Guest House Akasaka Palace's intricately designed reception areas and gardens exude a sense of stateliness fit for royalty.
One of the largest buildings constructed during the Meiji period (1868-1912), the State Guest House Akasaka Palace has several reception and dining rooms with elaborately decorated walls and furnishings.
The Asahi no Ma is an an elaborate guest room resembling a European palace, with a royal purple carpet and highly-detailed ceiling paintings and wall art. Note that it is not currently open to the public and undergoing renovation until March 2019.
The Hagoromo no Ma ballroom's ceiling painting is inspired from a passage from a Noh play, and has impressive ornate crystal chandeliers.
Other reception rooms are decorated with French reliefs, oil paintings and tapestries.
You can also visit the Japanese Style Annex, Yushintei, with prior reservation. There is a traditional landscape garden, a collection of bonsai trees, a tea ceremony room, and buildings with Japanese-style architecture.
Visiting the palace
To visit the State Guest House Akasaka Palace, you can apply to make a reservation though the official website's application page.
You are able to visit the State Guest House main building and gardens without a reservation on the same day by signing in at the reception desk, however, when it is crowded, those with an advance reservation will be given priority.
Note that the palace may close to the public on short notice, so please be sure to check the calendar before you visit.
Also note that Asahi no Ma is currently closed to the public for restoration until March 2019.