The National Diet Building is the center of Japanese politics, as it houses both chambers of the Diet, or legislative arm: the House of Representatives, which meets in the left wing, and the House of Councillors, which meets in the right wing. Built in 1936, the building is constructed almost entirely of Japanese materials.
The building is iconic for its pyramid-shaped dome in the center of the complex, which made it the tallest building in Japan at completion. The interior is decorated with cultural artifacts and art pieces, such as bronze statues of the men who are credited with formulating Japan's first modern constitution. The building sits on land once inhabited by feudal lords, giving the spot even more historical significance. It is sometimes referred to as the House of Parliament or the Government building in Tokyo.
Groups of up to 10 people can enter the House of Councillors wing without prior reservations. To visit the lower house in the building, a House of Representatives member is required as an escort, and prior arrangements are necessary. For groups of more than 10, reservations are always required. A free one-hour tour takes place only when the Diet is not in session, and English guides are not always available. The National Diet Building is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached via a short walk from the Nagata-Cho Station on Tokyo Metro Subway.