National Diet Building
The interior of the National Diet Building is decorated with cultural artifacts and artworks—such as bronze statues of the men credited with formulating Japan's first modern constitution—and extensive murals inside the Central Hall. The building sits on land once inhabited by feudal lords, and was once the home of the chief minister of the last shogun, giving the spot even more historical significance.
Tours of the House of Councillors are sometimes offered for groups of up to 10 people. To visit the lower house, a House of Representatives member is required as an escort, and so prior arrangements are necessary. If you are more interested in just seeing the exterior, join a sightseeing tour of Tokyo that passes by or stops at the National Diet Building—that way you can check off multiple attractions in one day.
Things to know before you go
- The National Diet Building is a must-visit for anyone interested in contemporary Japanese politics.
- For groups of more than 10, reservations are always required.
- English guides are not always available—check ahead of time.
How to get there
The closest Tokyo Metro station to the National Diet Building is Kokkai-gijidōmae Station on the Marunouchi and Chiyoda lines—it’s a minute’s walk away. Alternatively, you can take the Yurakucho line to Nagatacho station, a four-minute walk away.
When to get there
The House of Councillors is open throughout the year, though it’s advisable to check opening times before you visit. Please note that the building is closed during national holidays. Also, tours may be suspended when the houses are in session—so it’s always a good idea to call ahead of visiting.
Just a couple of minutes’ walk from the National Diet Building is the free Parliamentary Museum. Through exhibits and films, the museum covers the history of the Japanese parliament from its early beginnings, through to the Tokugawa shogunate and the present day.
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