Akasaka Palace – a magnificent creation

The unmistakable Akasaka Palace in Tokyo is one of the most handsome edifices in the Japanese capital. This magnificent building was initially constructed in 1909 as an imperial palace to serve as the residence of the Crown Prince. However today it functions as one of the Japanese government’s state guesthouses, providing sumptuous accommodation for official visiting dignitaries. The building took on its present role in 1974 and has provided lodging for many visiting heads of state and other official visitors. In 2009 the iconic building was officially recognised as one of the national treasures of Japan.
The palace was amongst the largest buildings built in the era of the Meiji Period. The principal building at the site also has the distinction of being the only construction in the Western Neo-Baroque architectural style within Japan.
The Akasaka Palace is esteemed as a cultural highlight by the Japanese people and also as a testament to the mastery of Japanese architects and artisans. The building was in fact designed by the talented Katayama Tokuma, one of the skilled students of the architectural master Josiah Conder.
After the conclusion of World War II with an ever increasing number of official guests arriving from overseas it became imperative to find a suitable location for diplomatic functions. It was in 1967 that the decision was made to revamp the former palace as the guest house of the state. The refurbishment was implemented under the guidance of Togo Murano, a premier architect.
After its refurbishment the palace has served as the temporary place of residence for visiting royalty, prime ministers and presidents from all parts of the globe. It has provided a splendid site for these activities, acting as a suitable venue for meetings, receptions and welcoming ceremonies.
As befitting this official role the Akasaka Palace features a grand interior, showcasing the splendour and magnificence of the Japanese nation. Many elaborate halls and chambers may be seen within the building.
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