Kabuki-za in Ginza is Tokyo’s premier kabuki theater. The theater was originally constructed in 1889 by a Meiji-era journalist, Fukuchi Gen’ichiro. Fukuchi wrote kabuki plays and kyogen for Ichikawa Danjuro IX and others to star in, however, after Danjuro IX passed away Fukuchi retired from the theater.
In 1914, the Shochiku Corporation took control of the theater and still maintains management today. Kabuki-za has suffered many reconstructions over its years. An electrical fire in 1921 commenced reconstruction beginning the following year but disaster struck once more in 1923 with the Great Kanto Earthquake. Rebuilding was completed in 1924 only to once again be destroyed during World War II. In 1950, the theater was restored using the 1924-style building plans.
During the spring of 2010, it was decided that the 1950-reconstruction would be rebuilt over the next three years to ensure the building was more accessible and able to survive earthquakes. The 2013 design was overseen by Kengo Kuma, an internationally acclaimed Japanese architect. The architecture today still reflects that of 1924 in the baroque Japanese revivalist style, similar to pre-Edo period castles and temples.
Performances at Kabuki-za are run exclusively by Shochiku and are held nearly every day. Tickets are sold either for individual acts or entire kabuki plays. Kabuki programs are organized monthly with a set of afternoon performances and another set of evening performances. Performances are repeated daily until the next month brings a new schedule.
English earphone services are available for rental on the first floor of the theater and allow for a more immersive experience for many non-Japanese guests. There are also small restaurants and lunch boxes available during intermissions (20-30 minutes); food and drink are allowed in the seating area during intermission.
Hibiya Line or Asakusa Line, "Higashi Ginza" Station. Exit 3- direct access to the theatre from the subway station.
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