Beyond the lofty ironwork door is the entrance hall, with black and white checkerboard floor overlaid with red carpet.
The checkerboard, called the ichimatsu motif in Japan, is composed of black Japanese slate and white Italian marble. A similar floor can be seen in the Palace of Versailles in France.
Just beyond the top of the grand stairway is the Large Hall, with eight columns of Italian breche violette marble.
Flanking the door to Asahi no Ma are a pair of oils by Ryohei Koiso, entitled Painting and Music.
The ceiling painting is titled Seventh Heaven. Executed by Professor Shun'ichi Terada of Tokyo University of the Arts, the work symbolizes an ideal world where seven doves race across the sky, leading the way to tranquility.
Asahi no Ma
Asahi no Ma is located up the grand stairway from the entrance hall, beyond the Large Hall. Called the "First Guest Room" when the residence was first built,
Asahi no Ma corresponds to the audience room in European palaces. Now used as the drawing and sitting room for visiting dignitaries,
the room is the most elegant one in the facility; it also hosts ceremonial welcomes and summit meetings.
Asahi no Ma is currently closed to the public due to restoration work on the ceiling painting, etc. and is to be closed until March of 2019.
These are the chandeliers brought from France at the time of the residence's construction, a superb and refined example of their kind.
There are a total of 16 pillars carved from pink marble patterned with white pigments, quarried in Norway.
The walls are paneled in velvet-flocked silk damask, called Kinkazan textile, from the famed workshops of Kyoto's Nishijin textile district.
The walls are decorated with images of armor, helmet, and lion heads with chains held in their jaws, said to represent the army.
The walls are decorated with images of ship's figurehead, laurel, oar and anchor, said to symbolize the navy.
Located directly above the entrance hall to the State Guest House and forming a pair with Asahi no Ma, Sairan no Ma was called the "Second Guest Room when the residence was originally built.
The new appellation Sairan no Ma derives from its reliefs of a ran, a type of phoenix.
This salon is used for treaty signing ceremonies, summit meetings, etc.
Above the crystal fixtures, the chains are enlivened with red, yellow, and green ribbons.
The vaulted ceiling is delineated into panels in a sunburst pattern, intended to evoke a military campaign tent. As with the wall relief of the sphinx, the design is thought to have been inspired by Napoleon's campaign in Egypt.
Characteristic of the Empire style, the chairs are upholstered in a fabric of red ground with silver embroidery.
The pieces of furniture in the salon show strong symmetry and have lion feet, both characteristic of the style.
The 10 mirrors hung on the walls serve to visually expand the room.
The relief embellishment on the mantelpiece include swords from both the West and the East.
Hagoromo no Ma
Situated on the west side of the State Guest House, Hagoromo no Ma is so called for the large ceiling painting inspired by a passage from the Noh play Hagoromo ("Robe of Heaven").
A grand space in shades of gold and scarlet, bedizened by mirrors, it was formerly referred to as the ballroom. It also hosts ceremonial welcomes in inclement weather, or serves pre-dinner drinks for guests.
The mezzanine on the north end of the space holds a musicians' gallery, where music was played during balls.
The reliefs on the walls show European-style masks and Western musical instruments like the violin, and Japanese musical instruments including the biwa lute and tsuzumi drum, combining motifs from the East and the West.
Painted pillars and chimneys are laid out to force an illusion of three-dimensional objects, depending on where the viewer stands.
Kacho no Ma
The name Kacho no Ma (Hall of Flowers and Birds) originates in the oil paintings on the ceiling and the cloisonné panels on the walls, all with floral and avian themes.
This was once the banquet hall, and is still used mainly for state banquets as well as for press conferences.
The heaviest of the chandeliers in the Akasaka Palace at 1,125 kilograms each are fitted with spherical speakers.
Brought from France at the time of the Palace's construction, this massive cabinet bears the imperial chrysanthemum emblem.
Flanking the credenza are tapestries depicting a deer hunt, with hunting dogs.
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