a center of the ancient japanese stage play of kabuki. Kabuki is a traditional Japanese form of theater with its origins in the Edo period. In contrast to the older Japanese art forms such as Noh, Kabuki was the popular culture of the common townspeople and not of the higher social classes. Kabuki plays are about historical events, moral conflicts, love relationships and the like. The actors use an old fashioned language which is difficult to understand even for some Japanese people. Actors speak in monotonous voices accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments. Kabuki takes place on a rotating stage (kabuki no butai). The stage is further equipped with several gadgets like trapdoors through which the actors can appear and disappear. Another specialty of the kabuki stage is a footbridge (hanamichi) that leads through the audience. In the early years, both men and women acted in Kabuki plays. Later during the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate forbade women from acting, a restriction that survives to the present day. Several male kabuki actors are therefore specialists in playing female roles (onnagata). A full Kabuki play is quite long but you can purchase tickets for one act only if you just want to get an idea of what Kabuki is like, there also headsets available for rental with English narration to explain what is going on during the play.
This Kabuki za theater is the main area for hosting this kind of japanese theater and is located in the luxury area of Ginza.
Usually Admission is:
17,000yen(1st floor box seat)
15,000yen. 11,000yen. 4,200yen. 2,500yen
Tickets can be ordered by telephone or at the theater box office. (open l0:00a.m.-6:00p.m. everyday) The credit card is available at the Box Office Window.
When I heard that the Kabuki-za was going to be torn down in Apr 2010, i knew I just had to catch a show. If I could, I would have bought the full show( which last half a day) but as it is, 4th floor, single tickets are just as good. Leaning against the railing, with the audio translation guide (you will need this to enjoy the performance, don't be stingy, it's only 400yen, but you need to give a 1000yen refundable deposit), you get a good view because the seats are close to the stage, even for the 4th floor. Check out the shows and timing at their english site, but note they change the shows monthly and update the site for the month only at the beginning of that month. Tickets sales only start 20mins before the start of the show for single show tickets.
For first time Kabuki theatre goers who do not have time to see the complete set of shows but want to experience one, it is possible to see just one show at 11 am costing only 800yen for about an hour. Buy your tickets at the box office on the day of the show.
Kabuki shows are usually very long consisting of many acts but if you don’t have much time, you can watch one act of the show from the 4th floor which is especially kept for people who are unable to stay and can leave without disturbing other patrons. held year round.
Kabuki Theatre is a wonderful blend of Japanese dance, music, and folklore. The colourful costumes and the dramatic plays are highly entertaining, even for those who aren't theatre buffs. And, especially for those people who aren't accustomed to long sits in the theatre, you have the opportunity to choose to go to one of the thee plays showing on one night. Or, you can choose to sit through all three. Additionally, they provide English speaking patrons with programs and headphones which explain what is happening in the play as it happens. Cost of a ticket was approximately $40 CAD.
The Main Kabuki theatre in Tokyo. tickets book well in advance and are very expensive. I settled for a picture of the outside.
Facts: Kabuki performer wore elaborate costumes and make-up. Generally kabuki is performed by men. Even the female roles are performed by men.
The word 'Kabuki' literally means, song, dance, and technique. Located in the Ginza, this is the best theatre in Tokyo and was especially built for Kabuki performances in 1925.