The Best Performing Arts Theaters in Tokyo

Noh performance | © Aleksandar Bondikov/Flickr
Noh performance | © Aleksandar Bondikov/Flickr
Whether you prefer classical Japanese dramas or contemporary plays, you’ll want to be front and center at these performing arts theaters in Tokyo.

Kabuki-za

Theater
Kabuki-za in Ginza is the primary kabuki theater in Tokyo. Kabuki is highly stylized, dramatic theater involving elaborate sets, costumes, and makeup along with over-the-top stage antics. While not nearly as popular as it was during the Edo Period, kabuki dance-drama is still an important part of Japanese culture, and many kabuki actors become quite famous. Tickets can be purchased online.
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National Noh Theatre

Theater
The National Noh Theatre is devoted to Noh, a musical dance-drama and the oldest Japanese performance art still being practiced today. The bare stage and distinctive masks used in Noh theater are a defining feature of the genre. Noh and kyogen (a comedic Noh-style play) are usually performed together.
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Setagaya Public Theatre

Theater
Setagaya Public Theatre is where you’ll find contemporary plays, dance performances and musical concerts. The theater was designed to adapt to the needs of different performing arts. It’s located in Carrot Tower in Setagaya. Tickets can be purchased online through their website.
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Honda Theatre

Theater
The Honda Theatre is a independent theater devoted to contemporary drama and acting, located in Tokyo’s hip Shimokitazawa neighborhood. With all performances in Japanese and less music, dramatics, and other visual cues, it’s best to have some grasp of the language in order to enjoy these performances more fully.
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Asakusa Engei Hall

Theater
Asakusa Engei Hall
Asakusa Engei Hall | © Kentin/WikiCommons
The Asakusa Engei Hall is dedicated to rakugo, a comedic storytelling genre that flourished during the Edo Period. These days, the hall also stages similar small stage performance arts like stand-up comedy, paper-cutting (kamikiri), and magic shows.
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