Akasaka Palace

Last updated
Akasaka Palace
(State Guest House)
Native name
Japanese: 赤坂離宮(迎賓館)
2019 Akasaka Palace 02.jpg
Akasaka Palace
Location Moto Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Coordinates 35°40′48″N139°43′43″E / 35.68000°N 139.72861°E / 35.68000; 139.72861 Coordinates: 35°40′48″N139°43′43″E / 35.68000°N 139.72861°E / 35.68000; 139.72861
Area15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft) (floor space)
117,000 m2 (1,260,000 sq ft) (site)
Built for Crown Prince
Daijō Tennō
Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Akasaka Palace
(State Guest House) in Japan

Akasaka Palace (赤坂離宮, Akasaka Rikyū), or the State Guest House (迎賓館, Geihinkan), is one of the two state guest houses of the Government of Japan. The other state guesthouse is the Kyoto State Guest House.


The palace was originally built as the Imperial Palace for the Crown Prince (東宮御所, Tōgū Gosho) in 1909. Today the palace is designated by the Government of Japan as an official accommodation for visiting state dignitaries. Located in the Moto-Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, the building took on its present function in 1974, having previously been an imperial detached palace. In 2009 the palace was designated as a National Treasure of Japan. [1]


The main building and the main garden Akasaka Palace 6.jpg
The main building and the main garden
The main building and the fountain Akasaka Palace 3.jpg
The main building and the fountain

Location: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Moto-Akasaka-chome No. 1

The building has 15,000 m2 of floor space, and together with a smaller structure in the Japanese style, occupies a 117,000 m2 site.

The main building is a Neo-Baroque style Western building, [2] resembling in particular the Hofburg Palace. It is one of largest buildings constructed during the Meiji period. [1]

The palace is surrounded by a footpath unobstructed by road crossings. The footpath is approximately 3.25 km long (roughly 2 miles).

The railway station nearest the Palace is Yotsuya Station.


The territory that Akasaka Palace now occupies was part of the residence of Kishū Domain, one of the major branches of the ruling Tokugawa clan, during the Tokugawa period. [2] After the Meiji Restoration, the Owari presented the land to the Imperial Household.

Designed by the architect Katayama Tōkuma (片山 東熊) (a student of Josiah Conder), the Neo-Baroque structure was constructed between 1899 and 1909 as a residence for the Crown Prince. Originally it was named Tōgū Palace (ja. lit. "Palace for the Crown Prince") but was later renamed Akasaka Palace when the Crown Prince's residence was moved. [2]

Regent Crown Prince Hirohito resided at Akasaka Palace from September 1923 [3] until September 1928, two months before his coronation. The move was intended to be temporary, but lasted five years. During the renovation of his contemporary residence, Hirohito intended to lodge temporarily at Akasaka Palace, moving in on August 28, 1923. Four days later, Japan was hit by the Great Kantō earthquake [3] on September 1. During his residence in Akasaka Palace, Crown Prince Hirohito married, and fathered two daughters, Princess Sachiko (who died at the age of 6 months) and Princess Shigeko.

After the Second World War, the Government of Japan relieved the Imperial Household of Akasaka Palace. Several governmental offices were installed in the palace, including the National Diet Library which was founded in 1948, [4] Cabinet Legislation Bureau and Organizing Committee of Tokyo Olympics 1964.

Through the economic revival of the country after the Second World War, the Japanese Government established a State Guest House. The former residence of Prince Asaka, currently Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, had been used as the state guest house, though it was too small for that purpose. It was decided in 1967 to renovate the former Akasaka Palace as the new state guest house. The renovation was led by architect Togo Murano, took more than five years and 10.8 billion yen, and was completed in 1974.

The first official state guest at the renovated palace was Gerald Ford in 1974, which was the first visit of the incumbent President of the United States to Japan. Since then, the palace has provided accommodations for state and official guests and a venue for international conferences, which have included the G7 summit meetings (1979, 1986 and 1993) and APEC [2] summits.

The venue was closed from 2006 to 2009 for renovation, and was reopened in April 2009. In December 2009, the main building, the main gate and the garden with fountain were designated as a National Treasure of Japan. [1] It was the first designation of assets after the Meiji Restoration as a National Treasure of Japan.

See also

Related Research Articles

Tokyo Imperial Palace Usual residence of the Emperor of Japan

The Tokyo Imperial Palace is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda district of the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo and contains several buildings including the main palace, some residences of the Imperial Family, an archive, museums and administrative offices.

Empress Michiko Wife of Akihito, the 125th Emperor of Japan

Michiko is a member of the Imperial House of Japan who served as the Empress consort of Japan as the wife of Akihito, the 125th Emperor of Japan reigning from 7 January 1989 to 30 April 2019.

Minato, Tokyo Special ward in Kantō, Japan

Minato is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. It is also called Minato City in English.

Empress Teimei Empress consort of Japan

Empress Teimei, born Sadako Kujō, was the wife of Emperor Taishō and the mother of Emperor Shōwa of Japan. Her posthumous name, Teimei, means "enlightened constancy".

Tokyo National Museum Art museum in Tokyo, Japan

The Tokyo National Museum or TNM is an art museum in Ueno Park in the Taitō ward of Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the four museums operated by the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage (ja:国立文化財機構), is considered the oldest national museum in Japan, is the largest art museum in Japan, and is one of the largest art museums in the world. The museum collects, preserves, and displays a comprehensive collection of artwork and cultural objects from Asia, with a focus on ancient and medieval Japanese art and Asian art along the Silk Road. There is also a large collection of Greco-Buddhist art. The museum holds over 110,000 Cultural Properties, including 89 National Treasures of Japan, 319 Horyuji Treasures, and 644 Important Cultural Properties. In addition, the museum houses over 3000 Cultural Properties deposited by individuals and organizations, including 55 national treasures and 253 important cultural properties. The museum also conducts research and organizes educational events related to its collection.

Imperial House of Japan Members of the extended family of the reigning Emperor of Japan

The Imperial House of Japan, also referred to as the Imperial Family, comprises those members of the extended family of the reigning Emperor of Japan who undertake official and public duties. Under the present Constitution of Japan, the Emperor is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people". Other members of the Imperial Family perform ceremonial and social duties, but have no role in the affairs of government. The duties as an Emperor are passed down the line to their male children.

Akasaka, Tokyo District in Tokyo, Japan

Akasaka (赤坂) is a residential and commercial district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan, located west of the government center in Nagatachō and north of the Roppongi district.

Aoyama-itchōme Station Metro station in Tokyo, Japan

Aoyama-itchōme Station is a subway station in Minato, Tokyo, Japan operated by Tokyo Metro and Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei).

Taipei Guest House

The Taipei Guest House is the historical building located at 1 Ketagalan Boulevard, Bo'ai Special Zone, Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan. It is owned by the Government of the Republic of China and used as a state guest house for receiving state guests or celebration activities.

Ōmiya Palace refers to a residence of the Empress Dowager of Japan. Literally, Ōmiya means Large Palace, but it is also a courtesy title of the Empress Dowager. Thus, the name Ōmiya Palace does not refer to any specific place, such as Ōmiya-ku, Saitama. In the modern history, there are three palaces called Ōmiya Palace:

In Japan, the Tōgū Palace traditionally does not refer to a single location, but to any residence of the Imperial Crown prince. As Prince Akishino, the current heir presumptive, is not a direct male descendant to the Emperor and not an Imperial Crown Prince himself, there is currently no Tōgū Palace in Japan and there will not be one until there is another Imperial Crown prince.

Emperor Taishō Emperor of Japan from 1912 until 1926

Emperor Taishō was the 123rd Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, and the second ruler of the Empire of Japan from 30 July 1912 until his death in 1926.

Park Court Akasaka The Tower

Park Court Akasaka The Tower is a 157-meter highrise building located in Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Tokyo.


Fujii-dera (葛井寺) is a Buddhist temple in Fujiidera, Osaka, Japan. The temple is associated with Shingon Buddhism and has as its main image a sculpture of the Thousand-armed Kannon. It is the fifth temple on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage.

Tamozawa Imperial Villa

Tamozawa Imperial Villa is a former imperial summer residence in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.

Numazu Imperial Villa

The Numazu Imperial Villa is a former imperial summer residence located in the city of Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan.

Kyoto State Guest House

Kyoto State Guest House is one of the two state guest houses of the Government of Japan. The other state guesthouse is the Akasaka Palace.

Takanawa Residence Japanese imperial residence

The Takanawa Imperial Residence is an Imperial residence in Tokyo.

Akasaka Estate Land in Akasaka, Tokyo

The Akasaka Estate is a park-like Japanese Imperial Estate, site of several major existing and former Imperial residences in the district of Moto-Akasaka, Minato Special Ward, Tokyo. Besides Prince Hitachi, who lives in Higashi, Shibuya, and the Emperor Emeritus, who lives in Takanawa Residence, many members of the Imperial Family have their official residence on this estate, currently including the Emperor himself. The estate is not accessible to the general public.


  1. 1 2 3 国宝・重要文化財(建造物)の指定について (PDF) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Agency for Cultural Affairs. October 16, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (2008). 迎賓館 [Reception hall] (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  3. 1 2 昭和聖徳記念財団 (Showa Memorial Foundation). 6月公開「山本内閣親任式の図」 (in Japanese). Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  4. 国立国会図書館 (National Diet Library). 沿革 [History] (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2010.