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Peter's Reviews ( Theaters )

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  • Kabukiza (Theaters / Ginza)
  • 2007/07/09
  • Kabuki-za, as you might expect, is an old theatre showing kabuki plays first built in 1889. It's unmistakable - a brightly-colored building completely contrasting with its modern surroundings, dwarfed by neighboring buildings but still imposing when you walk by. Tickets are fairly easy to get, depending on the show. Tickets range from 2,500 yen to 17,000 yen for box seats. They should be purchased over the phone in advance. There are also special, non-reserve tickets for 1 show only, at 1,000 yen. The standard tickets are for an entire program, which lasts several hours. The 1 show tickets must be purchased right before the show, and are good for the 4th row of seating only. There's usually a long line, but it goes quickly and isn't much of a hassle. Personally I would pay a little more next time and get better seats, because it's hard to see or hear the actors from the 4th row, plus it can get sweltering in the summer.
    I rented an audio set for English translation for 650 yen. It's not really translation, but more like a summary of what's happening. Better than being completely in the dark, I guess. Fortunately, when I went to Kabuki-za they were doing a kabuki rendition of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, so the plot was fairly easy to follow.
    Kabuki-za is convenient and a fun experience. The costumes are almost too bright to look at - beautiful kimonos in red, purple, and white. The sets are beautiful as well - they installed an entire field of white lilies for the queen's garden, pretty impressive.