When you see the combination Japanese-Western style exterior, you’ll likely guess First Guest House dates from the Japanese occupation. In 1908, the Japanese government erected the Matsushima Memorial Hall here to commemorate the 223 officers and sailors who died when the battleship Matsushima exploded and sank in the waters off Penghu. The guest house was attached to the memorial in 1912 to serve as accommodations for the Japanese royal family and senior officials. It was later rebuilt on the north of Guanyinting to make way for the construction of Magong No. 1 Fishing Port, offering an even wider, more spectacular view.
The Nationalist government took over the Guest House after WWII. When then-president Chiang Kai-shek stayed here, he converted the Japanese-style interior into a Western-style living space and constructed an underground wartime command post. During the Kinmen 823 Artillery Battle, it became the center for directing battle strategy. The hotel was rechristened “First Guest House” after Chiang returned to Taipei. In 2011, it was designated as a county historical site and officially opened to the public after the main building was renovated. You can see that the vestibule roof at the entrance is a traditional Japanese "Tang-style" structure, and vestibule’s floor and walls are made of Penghu's unique shell sand. The interior features “Chiang-style” living quarters. A quiet, elegant garden outside adds to the elegance of the hybrid Japanese-Western architecture.