Lights and special opening
22 -24 December 2018
Akasaka Palace State Guesthouse*
As winter approaches in Tokyo, lights illuminate the city. Adding glamour to the season’s lights festivals, the Akasaka Palace State Guesthouse* (“geihinkan akasaka-rikyu”) will host events for a special opening to the public.
*Please note that the English appellation of the palace we use throughout this article is not the official translation.
The Akasaka Palace, located in central Tokyo, is a state guesthouse to receive foreign dignitaries.
The main building, constructed in 1909 as the Crown Prince’s Palace, has a majestic appearance of a European palace. Designed by the architect Tokuma Katayama, it is the sole and only architecture in the Neo-Baroque style existing in Japan and designated as a national treasure.
Photos (all in this article): courtesy of State Guest houses, Cabinet Office
From top) the Main Building and the Main Garden
Special moment at a special place
For the three-day period, visitors will be exceptionally received from the left doors of the Main Entrance, which is reserved for foreign dignitaries and usually not open to the public.
You may feel like a special guest, entering the palace this way.*
*The entrance for visitors is located at the West Gate, not at the Main Entrance.
From top) the Main Entrance; the Main Entrance Hall; and the Large Hall
From thence you will proceed to visit the palace’s official rooms, amid classical background music – a feature not offered for the usual opening.
Official rooms (from top) – Kacho-no-ma; Sairan-no-ma; and Hagoromo-no-ma
At the West Entrance – which was created for the use by the Crown Princess – admire two oil paintings by Léonard Foujita (Tsuguharu Fujita). These works, painted in 1935 and later donated to the State guesthouse by the former owner, will be exceptionally on display there.
Bask in the afterglow of visit
The visiting hours will be extended during the three-day special opening.
In the evening, the Palace’s Main Building will glow, lit up elegantly after sunset, to reveal a different profile to visitors.
There will also be food trucks to offer something nice and warm, festive even (food and drink fees extra).
Illuminated buildings (from top): the Main Building and the Main Entrance
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