State guesthouse in Kyoto may be opened to visitors year-round


The government is considering opening a state guesthouse in Kyoto to the public throughout the year to add to the allure of the ancient capital.

Only a limited number of people who apply in advance are currently allowed inside the guesthouse.

Officials will already allow people in Tokyo to go inside the Government Guesthouse in Akasaka from this Friday to Feb. 18, on a trial basis, ahead of a full-fledged public opening in April.

The Tokyo facility has been used as a venue for meetings and accommodation for state guests.

“Based on reaction to the trial opening of the guesthouse (in Tokyo), we will see whether it is possible to make the Kyoto guesthouse open to the public throughout the year,” a government source said Monday.

The Kyoto building was established in 2005 as a venue for guests from abroad. In August 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted an unofficial dinner there for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The government is expected to make a final decision after assessing security and other aspects of opening the facility to the public, the source said.

A plan for Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga to conduct an inspection of the Kyoto facility around April has been considered, according to the source.