Fans of traditional theatre will want to check out Shochikuza, Osaka’s main kabuki theatre in the Dotombori district. Even if you don’t stay for the full program, one act of kabuki is enough to transport you to another world.
Shochikuza - image © Florentyna Leow
Kabuki is one of Japan’s great theatrical traditions. Imagine storylines along the dramatic lines of Shakespeare. Add some extremely elaborate costumes and fabulous makeup. Realise that all the actors, even the women on stage, are men. You’re getting close. It’s quite a spectacle, and enjoyable to watch even if you don’t understand Japanese.
Whether you want to watch a single act or stay for the whole show, a kabuki show is worth incorporating into your itinerary if you have time and have an interest in traditional theatre. Shochikuza is within walking distance from Dotombori and Shinsaibashi-suji Arcade, so you could potentially squeeze in an act between the shopping and eating.
Stop by the box office to see if anything is on while you are there, or you can check the Shochikuza English website for upcoming shows. There are English brochures that give you an outline of the show, but unfortunately, Shochikuza isn’t one of the theatres that supply headsets with English guidance, so you’ll be watching the shows in Japanese. If you’re lucky enough to have a Japanese-speaking friend in tow, bring them along to help interpret the show. Don’t forget to buy them dinner.
Osaka Shochikuza Theatre
1-9-19 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, 542-0071
Varies by performance
Varies by performance
Subway and Train: 2-minute walk from exit 14 of Namba Station.
Official Website (English)
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