Architecture buffs flock to Akasaka Palace, or the State Guest House, in Tokyo to admire the sole neo-Baroque-style Western building in all of Japan. Built in 1909 on the grounds of a famous Edo-era estate, the building was intended to be the Imperial Palace for the Crown Prince. By the mid-1900s, however, the palace had become the State Guest House, an official accommodation for visiting foreign dignitaries. Today, Akasaka Palace is a designated National Treasure of Japan and is open to the public in the summer months.
Since transitioning into the State Guest House in 1975, the palace has housed visiting monarchs, presidents and prime ministers from around the world, as well as political and diplomatic conferences and events. The building was constructed out of brick and reinforced by steel frames, making it thus far resistant to fires and earthquakes. It is one of Japan's best remaining examples of a Meiji-era structure.
To visit the Akasaka Palace in June or July, a tour must be booked or an application must be submitted to the Japanese government beforehand in the spring months. The palace is situated on an area of land known as Akasaka Goyochi, located in the north end of Akasaka. It is accessible from Yotsuya Station on the JR Chuo Main Line.