The most quintessential Kabuki show in Tokyo can be found in Kabukiza Theater. The well-known Geisha culture is originated from Kabuki. Kabukiza Theater a gigantic performing center, with a capacity of 2000 people, located in Ginza. Kabukiza Theater delivers supreme Kabuki shows to the public all year round. It was originally built in 1889 during the Meiji period. However, it was closed down for reconstruction several times before finally reopened to the public in 2013.
Tickets can be purchased in advanced or at the door. Performances are scheduled at 11:00-15:00 and 16:30-20:30. You can purchase tickets upon arrival at B2F ticketing office (by the elevator of the third exit in Higashi-ginza Station). Tickets purchased at door are subject to availability. If you don't want to commit to the full 4-hour performance, you can purchase a Single Act Ticket for a section of the show. Because of the popularity of Kabuki in Japan, tickets usually have to be booked at least a month in advance in order to see your favorite performers and shows. The most expensive seats are at first floor, while the cheapest seats are at third floor.
A designated area is reserved for audience who only watch a portion of the show. Because of the lowered price and reduced length, Single Act ticket is a great option for foreign tourists to experience the traditional performance. The price is based on the length of the show. The average cost is about ¥ 1,000-¥ 2,000, and the cheapest could be as low as ¥ 600-¥ 700. However, it is important to bear in mind that Single Act tickets can only be purchased on the day, and admission is 20 minute prior to show time. There are about 90 seating rooms and 60 standing rooms for Single Act audience. The seats are located at upper tiers. Because it is usually hard to see from far distance, theater rent out opera glasses to audience.
Despite Kabuki is comprised of music, drama, and dance, the main focus remains on the acting skill of the performer. Thus, audience with language barrier can easily miss out the essence of the drama, especially in non musical parts. When located far from the stage, audience cannot clearly see actor’s facial expression, through which actors often time convey significant thoughts. To enhance the kabuki experience, the theater provides English pamphlet explaining the synopsis of the play, so foreign visitors can understand the plot and the dialogue. If you want a full understanding of the play, the theater also provides captioning service. You can rent the device for ¥ 1,500, which a deposit of ¥1,000 will be refunded when you return the device. The device will provide English caption line by line concurrent with the show. For performance schedule, ticket reservations, and other details, proceed to the official website of Kabukiza Theatre.
Additional to the oldest Kabukiza Theater, Kabuki shows are available at two other theaters in Tokyo. To ensure there is a performance at your desire time, check with the theaters online or by phone:
Shinbashi Enbujo - Address: 6-18-2, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Kokuritsu Gekijo - Address: 4-1, Hayabusa-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo