Japanese Style Annex, Yushintei, Akasaka Palace

The Japanese-style annex Yushintei was designed by Yoshiro Taniguchi, the architect of the Crown Prince’s Palace, and built in 1974. While the functions and modes of hospitality found in the main wing are entirely Western, the annex is a facility where foreign guests are welcomed according to Japanese framework and in purely Japanese style of hospitality. Along with an aesthetic experience characteristic of Japanese dwellings and gardens, Yushintei provides Japanese hospitality through tea, flowers, and foods.

There is a path through the lawn leading to the annex. Across a pond, the gabled roof of the one-story Japanese Annex can be seen.

In 1974 (Showa 49), it was newly designed by Yoshiro Taniguchi. The main Japanese-style room has 47 tatami mats. The current Japanese-style annex has been mainly used as a “family-friendly hospitality facility” for dinner and tea ceremonies for state guests. In an unusual place, the second station of Shogi’s second Eiou warfare was held in December 2016.

In addition, it is planned to expand such facilities as installing new accommodation facilities while leaving these facilities. For the renovation project of the Japanese-style annex, the design community of Tadao Ando and others was selected as the designer.

Former Eishojo Station is located on the left and right (east-west direction) from the main gate to the main building. Both are 23.3 x 6.4m, 1 floor above ground, 1 floor below ground, ridged building, slate roofing. National treasure designation.


The Main Entrance and Japanese Courtyard from the Covered Walkway
The bronze lantern hung to the left of the main entrance has goshichi no kiri, the emblem associated with the Japanese Government. To the right of the covered walkway that extends from the main entrance is a courtyard garden, planted with tortoiseshell bamboo and evocative with white shirakawa gravel and kibune stone from Kyoto. Pure white pebbles blanket the ground, and three stones from Kifune, in Kyoto, have been arranged in the center. Moso bamboo grows behind the rocks.

Used for Viewing Kimono and Ikebana, in Addition to Japanese State Dinners
The Main Japanese-style Room is just over 77 square meters (47 jo) and floored in tatami. When holding formal Japanese-style dinners, the floor under the table can be recessed to provide guests with a more relaxed seating arrangement. The table can also be stored under the floor, placing the entire tatami-lined room at the disposal of kimono and ikebana (flower arrangement) appreciation, and exhibition of traditional Japanese dance. A table has been placed over a sunken foot space in this spacious tatami room, and in the distance one can see a toko-no-ma (alcove for displaying flowers or calligraphy) in jet black.

Ceremonial Welcome with Tea
The back alcove of the tea room is hung with a calligraphic scroll by the head priest of Daitoku-ji Temple. Approximately 7.5 square meters in size (4.5 jo), the tatami-lined seating area of the tea room is for visitors to observe tea being prepared and partake in the tea experience. Several chairs have been arranged by the wall, in addition to a four-and-a-half tatami mat space. A hanging scroll is displayed in the toko-no-ma alcove in the back of the room.

Room with kitchen-counter
Fitted with counter seating, this area is used to entertain visitors in a more intimate environment, with cuisines like tempura and sushi being prepared on the spot. Chairs are arranged along a counter. The pillars and exposed beams of the room are made of rough-hewn chestnut, and slats of bamboo are affixed to the ceiling, creating a rustic appearance.

Varicolored Carp
A fishpond is situated just off of the hiro-en (low veranda), providing guests with a view of varicolored carp in the water. The brightly colored carp swim elegantly in shades of red, white, gold, and other colors.

Undulating Reflections on the Ceiling
Called yuragi, these sunlit ripples reflected off the pond and onto the wide veranda ceiling are a part of the Japanese aesthetic. Looking towards the outdoors from the main Japanese-style room, one can see the sunlight that strikes the pond, projected in trembling patterns onto the ceiling of the veranda.

The collection includes 140-year-old Japanese black pine and white pine. Japanese white pine and black pine bonsai are carefully tended here.

Akasaka Palace
The State Guest Houses (Akasaka Palace) are national facilities to receive foreign dignitaries, such as monarchs, presidents and prime ministers, from countries all over the world. The SGH plays one of the key roles of diplomacy through performing a wide variety of functions, including accommodating foreign dignitaries and holding summit meetings, signing ceremonies or banquets.

The State Guest House, Akasaka Palace serves as a splendid stage of diplomatic activities by welcoming monarchs and presidents from countries all over the world. The State Guest House, Akasaka Palace was the only palace in Japan that was built based on the neo-Baroque style as Crown Prince’s Palace in 1909. It is a structure built by mobilizing all available resources of the Japanese architectural, art and craft industries in those days and represents the culmination of Japan’s full-scale modern Western architecture in the Meiji period. Japan returned to the international community a dozen years after World War II and the number of foreign dignitaries that it welcomes increased; given this, the facilities were extensively restored and remodeled along with the construction of a new Japanese Style Annex and made a fresh start as the current State Guest Houses in 1974.

After the massive repair work in 2009, the State Guest Houses was designated as a national treasure as one of the structures that represent Japanese architecture. The State Guest Houses has received a large number of distinguished guests, such as monarchs, presidents or prime ministers, and been used as a venue for international conferences, including summit meetings, as well.

In addition, it is open to the general public as long as its primary activities are not interrupted, thereby contributing to making Japan a tourism-oriented country.