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Nagatachō & Kasumigaseki 永田町 & 霞ヶ関

National Diet Building, Nagatacho
National Diet Building, Nagatachō

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The eastern side of Sotobori-dō Avenue, between Akasaka-Mitsuke and Tameike-Sannō stations, is Nagatachō, the seat of Japanese Diet (parliament) and and the Prime Minister's residence. Further east, tucked between Nagatachō, Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace is the district of Kasumigaseki, where most of Japan's cabinet ministry offices are located. Nagatachō is used figuratively as a synonym for the Japanese government, while Kasumigaseki refers to the Japanese administration.

Old Ministry of Justice, Kasumigaseki
Ministry offices, Kasumigaseki

It may not seem the most promising place for sightseeing, especially since most of the administrative buildings are unsightly post-war blocks. There are nevertheless two edifices that merit to be seen: the National Diet Building and the Meiji-era Old Ministry of Justice Building.

The massive National Diet was constructed between 1920 and 1936 based on the design of Watanabe Fukuzo. The Ministry of Justice was designed by German architects Hermann Ende and Wilhelm Böckmann and constructed in 1895. The neo-Baroque style of this red-brick and blue-stone edifice is very much in line with Tokyo Station, itslef completed in 1914 and certainly inspired by the Ministry of Justice. Both buildings withstood the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923, but were damaged by the American B-29 firebombings in 1945. The Old Ministry of Justice was restored to its original condition in 1994.

Surrounding Areas :

Akasaka, Tokyo
Ginza, Tokyo
Marunouchi, Tokyo
Roppongi, Tokyo
Shiodome, Tokyo

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