Kabukiza (Kabuki theatre in Ginza, Tokyo) is the only place where you can enjoy seeng kabuki almost every day in Japan. But most of the foreigners and tourists do not know that there is another place where you can enjoy seeing Kabuki very close to Kabukiza. It is Shimbashi Enbujo Theater. From 3 minutes walking from Kabukiza, you can find Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre.
On every January, for celebrating the New Year, Kabuki play is held at the Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre. This kabuki program does not sell a single act ticket, but the contents are rich in variety, so I recommend to go to Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre, if you missed to buy tickets at Kabukiza on January. I think compare to Kabukiza, the program is very easy to understand for beginners and tourists.
In this theatre, they has no English “G-Mark Guide” (captioning) rental service like Kabukiza has, but they provide “Earphone Guide”, the voice guide, along the story in English (700 yen). If you go there, you should use this service.
You can see the detail of this month’s Kabuki play.
But from this information, it is difficult to judge the play is suitable for tourists or not. Here, I would like to rank the play with the star-mark like Michelin Guide. The black star means “recommend”, and the white star means “better to avoid for beginners”. It would be my great pleasure to see the following refering before you will go to Kabuki watching!
(Sorry, I did not have a time to see Matinee, so I only evaluate the evening show. )
January Kabuki Program at Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre
Daily: January 3rd through 27th
Box Seat : 20,000 / First Class Seat : 18,000 / Second Class A: 10,000 / Second Class B: 6,500 / Upper Tier A : 6,500 / Upper Tier B : 3,000
Unit: Japanese Yen (tax included)
This month’s performance is to commemorate the Name Succession of Ichikawa Udanji III and the first stage of his son Ichikawa Ukon II.
Matinee (from 11:00 AM):
Full-length performance of FUTAGO SUMIDAGAWA
[Sumida River and the Twins]
Evening Show (from 4:30 PM):
GENPEI NUNOBIKI NO TAKI -Yoshikata Saigo
[ The Death of Yoshikata ]
(strongly recommend. THIS IS KABUKI! You can feel the kabuki world simply.)
[ Stage Announcement ]
Ichikawa Ukon taking a new name Ichikawa Udanji
and other top rate actors are present.
(The atmosphere is so nice. You can feel the edo era. KOJO is the special event for Kabuki actor’s life, so you should check it. But they speak only in Japanese, you must have “Earphone guide” rental service.)
[ Kagekiyo’s Contest of Strength with Shiro ]
(It is amazing that the stage is dramatically moving up and moving down. The story is a little complex but you can enjoy it.)
[ The Black Mound on the Adachi Plain ]
(So nice dancing. This is the typical Japanese traditional musical and you should check this. You can also enjoyig to see the kabuki’s dynamical make up.)