Official Residence Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet TOP
Official Residence A virtual tour of the former Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence)
[Introduction] [First Floor-North Side] [First Floor-South Side]
[Second Floor-Front Staircase] [Second Floor-West Staircase]
[Decor] [Exterior] [Annex etc.]
The Main Entrance > The Front Courtyard > The South Garden (1) > The South Garden (2)
The Front Courtyard
The covering of cycads was the poetic harbinger of winter
The cycads in the front courtyard
The cycads in the front courtyard
Photo No.1 The cycads in the front courtyard Photo No.2 The cycads covered in straw matting Photo No.3 Tent village
As you entered the Kantei through the main gate, there was a front courtyard. In the center of this front courtyard was a green space in which, cycads, Japanese sago palms, were planted.

These trees were the first things on which visitors to the Kantei generally cast their eyes, and as such, they had become the symbol of the entrance to the Kantei.

The cycad is a plant that is usually accustomed to a warm climate. Therefore, in December the cycads at the Kantei were bound in their "winter clothes," or rather covered in straw matting. The covering of the cycads, was the poetic harbinger of winter for the Kantei.

Other than visiting cars stopping at the entrance, the front courtyard of the Kantei was usually a quiet and peaceful area. This area however, became a hive of activity on days such as the formation of a new Cabinet or the reshuffling of an incumbent Cabinet. New Cabinet ministers were called to the Kantei, and the mass media pitched tents in the front courtyard and stood by with all their equipment to snap the new Cabinet members. When this happened, the front garden was crammed with tents, and, as such, was renamed "tent village."

On these occasions, the regal old cycads might feel a bit cramped themselves.
The Main Entrance
The South Garden (1)