One of the great points about Tokyo is the multitude of hidden gems or amazing spots that you walk by and ask “I wonder what this is?” and never return to find out the answer. One such location is the majestic Akasaka Palace. One of only two state guest houses of the Japanese government (along with Kyoto State Guest House), Akasaka Palace was originally built in 1909 and plays host to visiting dignitaries and is now officially a National Treasure of Japan.
Akasaka is one of Tokyo’s more upscale districts, known for its bustling nightlife, elegant boutiques, and restaurants as well as a thriving business community. The palace takes up a fair amount of space in the Akasaka area but you wouldn't necessarily know this as it’s part of a leafy enclave which also hosts The Akasaka Imperial Property and the residence of Prince Akishino.
When not in official use the palace and its incredible grounds are open to the public making it a must-visit destination for tourists and residents. Its magisterial western architecture with a Japanese Annex (which is primarily used to create a more authentic Japanese ambiance for state dignitaries) creates an unbelievably impressive setting and the interior of the palace is pure opulence and ostentation. The palace also has an array of western and Japanese art and furniture as well as samurai-themed decorations which creates a spectacular and perfectly curated fusion of east and west.
Audio guides are also available for ¥200 (in a variety of languages) for visitors as well as a selection of plans outlined below:
Plan 1: From 10am to 5pm with no reservation required visitors can pay ¥1,500 to see the main building and garden.
Plan 2: Tours of the Japanese Annex, main building and garden are conducted every 30 mins from 10:30am to 3pm. The 3pm tour is conducted in English. The fee is ¥2,000 and reservations are required.
Plan 3: To experience the Japanese Annex and garden through a specialist tour visitors need advanced reservations and are required to pay ¥1,500. Tours are conducted every 30 mins from 10:30am to 3pm. The 3pm tour is conducted in English.
Plan 4: To visit the garden no reservations are required and visitors need to pay a ¥300 entrance fee.
The Japanese Annex (which is primarily used to create a more authentic Japanese ambience for state dignitaries) creates an unbelievably impressive setting and the interior of the palace is pure opulence and ostentation.
Get off at Yotsuya Station on the JR Chuo Line/Sobu Line. About a 7-minute walk from the Akasaka Exit. Get off at Yotsuya Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line. About a 7-minute walk from Exit 1. Get off at Yotsuya Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. About a 7-minute walk from Exit 2.
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