Sunday, March 9, 2014

Let's go to watch KABUKI!

Kabuki is a traditional stage drama performed only by men with lively songs and music. It is characterized by a combination of rhythmical words, dynamic dancing, elaborate costumes and make-up, and stage sets such as revolving stage. 

Kabukiza Theater at Ginza, Tokyo, was opened in April 2013 after renovation.  You can buy the tickets on the Internet or at the box office of the theatre when available, but the price is about between JPY4,000 to JPY20,000. Also, total running time is about 5 hours. (You can have 2 or 3 time breaks during the performance.)

If you would like to watch Kabuki just for your experience or to see if you like or not, there is a way to watch Single Act at the theater. (We say Hitomaku-mi in Japanese.)
Single Act tickets allow you to purchase tickets on the day without reservations, directly at the Box Office located on the ground level of the Kabukiza Theatre. The price is about between JPY1,000 to JPY2,000, which depends on the running time, and the time is about between 40 minutes to 1.5 hour. In fact, it was first time for me to watch Kabuki, so I tried to watch Single Act.

Here is the way to watch Single Act.
- Go to Single Act Box Office located on the left side of the main entrance to Kabukiza Theatre on the ground level, and stand in line. Single Act tickets will be sold on the day of the performance, and seats are not guaranteed. So you should go there in advance. I went to the theatre on the weekday at 9:30 for the play starting time at 11:00. The ticket sale started around 10:20.

- One person can purchase only 1 ticket for each part, so you cannot buy the ticket for somebody else not in the line. Tickets can be purchased for consecutive parts in the same play. This is my ticket. I could get 37th number. The tickets are first come, first served. You can buy the ticket only by cash.

There are approximately 96 Seats and 60 Standing Places for the Single Act located on the fourth floor of the auditorium. Tickets are individually numbered. Once you get on the lobby of fourth floor, the staff will call out the numbers to allow you to enter the auditorium. Keep your seat then. (You might not be able to keep the seat if the number is later numbers.) You have to be at the fourth floor at the latest 20 minutes before the play time.

This is the view from the fourth floor. 

Earphone-Guide is also available for the single play. The price is JPY500 and the refundable deposit is JPY1,000. The guide provides the translation of the story and lyrics, and the explanation related to the story, music, dance, actors and so on. It was first time for me to watch Kabuki play, but I could understand what was going on during play thanks to the guide. I am sure that you can enjoy Kabuki much!

This is the website of Earphone-Guide.

Also, do not forget to stop by the small Japanese garden at the fifth floor and souvenir shops at Basement level 2. (Regular box office - not for the single play - also located at this floor.)

Time schedule is here. Click Makumi, Kabukiza for Single Act.
For Kabukiza Theatre at Ginza, Tokyo
Address: Ginza 4-12-15, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
TEL: 03-3545-6800 (10:00AM-6:00PM)

Please enjoy Japanese traditional drama play.
Experience Japan!

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