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History

A photo of the main building of the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace at the time of its establishment in 1909, as viewed from the west.

1899-1909

Constructed as Togu Gosho (Crown Prince's Palace)

The culmination of Japan's Western architectural technology and skills in the Meiji period

With the wedding of the Crown Prince (Emperor Taisho later) approaching, a momentum toward building a new Western-style Togu Gosho (Crown Prince's residence) grew. Under the overall direction of Dr. Tokuma Katayama, who studied directly under Dr. Josiah Conder, a British architect who took the lead in Japan's Western architecture in the Meiji period (Professor of Architecture at the Imperial College of Engineering (currently The University of Tokyo), eminent scholars, artists and engineers were fully mobilized.

A photo of the main building of the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace at the time of its establishment in 1909, as viewed from the south.
A photo of the main gate of the State Gueset House, Akasaka Palace at the time of its establishment in 1909. Unlike today, the main gate was black at this time.

1923-1928

Prince Regent's (Emperor Showa later) residence

1923

The Great Kanto Earthquake

1945-1946

Crown Prince's (the reigning emperor) residence

A photo of Sairan-no-ma in the post-war period, when the room was used as a judge impeachment court.

1948

Transferred from the Imperial Household's assets to administrative assets and used as government facilities

The ownership transferred to the Japanese government after World War II

The buildings and site of the Akasaka Palace, which were Imperial Household's assets, were transferred to the Japanese government after the war. They were used thereafter as the National Diet Library (1948-1961), the Attorney General's Office's (Homucho) Legislation Opinion Bureau (1948-1960), the Judge Impeachment Court and the impeachment committee (1948-1970), the Ministry of Justice's Litigation Bureau (1948-1961), Research Commission on the Constitution (1956-1960), the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee (1961-1965) and the Ad Hoc Commission on Administrative Reform (1961-1964).

A photo of Sairan-no-ma in the post-war period, when the room was used as a judge impeachment court.
A photo of the exterior of the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace undergoing repairs, which were begun in 1910. A large crane can be seen.
An image of repair work begun on the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace in 1910. Construction workmen have come to the roof, which they are are re-tiling.
An image of repair work begun on the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace in 1910. In order to restore the ceiling paintings in the Asahi-no-ma room, many people are seated in chairs, looking up at the ceiling as they work atop a platform built on scaffolding close to the ceiling.

1968

The Akasaka Palace remodeled into the State Guest House

Upon Cabinet approval, large-scale renovation work went underway

As closer international relations were built in ten-odd years after the war and the opportunities to welcome foreign dignitaries from countries all over the world increased, a policy to put in place state guest house facilities was formulated and it was agreed that the Akasaka Palace would serve as the State Guest House. In renovating the Akasaka Palace into the State Guest House, with the basic policy of conserving its cultural value and allowing distinguished guests to stay comfortably and safely and official functions to be conducted, we asked Mr. Togo Murano, an architect and member of the Japan Art Academy, to renovate the Main Building and Mr. Yoshiro Taniguchi, an architect and member of the Japan Art Academy, to build a new annex building to receive guests through Japanese-style hospitality.

1974

Opened as the State Guest House

Large-scale renovation work completed and reopened as the State Guest House

Massive renovation work that started in 1968 was completed six years later in March 1974 and relaunched as the State Guest House

2006-2008

Major renovation in the Heisei period

Under a three-year renovation plan, extensive repair work was conducted to improve water supply and drainage pipes, information-related facilities and address antiseismic reinforcement.

2009

Designated as a national treasure

Designated as a national treasure 100 years after construction in 2009

The Main Building of the former Togu Gosho (Crown Prince's Palace) (The State Guest House, Akasaka Palace), driveway and stairs attachment, front gates/walls, the former East and West eisha(Guard House) and the main garden fountain and stairs, which remained the same as they were when they were built, were designated as a national treasure.

2016

Year-round public opening started

For those who wish to pay a visit