(State Guest House)
|Location||Moto Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan|
|Area||15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft) (floor space)|
117,000 m2 (1,260,000 sq ft) (site)
|Built for||Crown Prince|
The palace was originally built as the Imperial Palace for the Crown Prince (?, T?g? 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.
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 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 Kish? Domain, one of the major branches of the ruling Tokugawa clan, during the Tokugawa period. After the Meiji Restoration, the Owari presented the land to the Imperial Household.
Designed by the architect Katayama T?kuma ( ) (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 T?g? Palace (ja. lit. "Palace for the Crown Prince") but was later renamed Akasaka Palace when the Crown Prince's residence was moved.
Regent Crown Prince Hirohito resided at Akasaka Palace from September 1923 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 Kant? earthquake 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, 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 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. It was the first designation of assets after the Meiji Restoration as a National Treasure of Japan.