Kyoto State Guest House Opens To Public For Trial Run

Kyoto State Guest House opens to public for trial runThe government began a 12-day public opening of the Kyoto State Guest House on Thursday as a trial run before year-round access begins in July.

The government is opening up the Japanese-style facility used to accommodate heads of states, prime ministers and other guests from foreign countries in a bid to help boost tourism at a time when the number of foreign visitors to the country is increasing.

Visitors can enter using tickets provided at the facility for free on a first-come-first-served basis, without any prior reservation, and tour four of the guesthouse's rooms and part of its garden.

When distribution of the first set of tickets began at 9 a.m., around 400 people were in a queue at the entrance gate.

"It is luxurious, and each and every object is precious. It would be nice to have it open throughout the year as soon as possible," said Masayuki Ito, 65, a visitor from Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.

The guesthouse established in 2005 had previously been open to visitors only for a limited period of around 10 days a year.

The public opening of the Akasaka Palace state guesthouse in Tokyo began on April 19.