Japan’s second-biggest city, Osaka, can seem like a never-ending maze to many visitors. Because of this, it’s important to plan your trip wisely to ensure you experience the very best things that Osaka has to offer, whether it’s sampling world-famous cuisine or exploring historic castles.
Osaka’s only kabuki theatre, Shochikuza, is the place to go to experience a traditional Japanese drama. Kabuki was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and is a highly stylised performance of song, mime and dance. While kabuki has existed in Japan since the 17th century, Osaka’s Shochikuza Theatre was only opened in 1923. It’s still a fascinating building, though, and sticks out from its surroundings due to its Neo-Renaissance architectural style, which was modelled on Milan’s La Scala theatre.
While you’re at Shochikuza, head to its second basement floor to visit Tachibana, the only on-site theatre brewery in Osaka. One of the first Osaka-brewed beers, Dotonbori has been around since 1996, and Tachibana is one of the only restaurants to have it on tap. Plus, it has an excellent reputation for its seafood and tofu. Beer and tofu might seem like a strange combination, but in Japan it works.