The best theaters in Tokyo house ancient art forms that have been performed in Japan for hundreds of years, as well as western art forms such as ballet and opera. Although somewhat confusing to most visitors, watching some ancient theater when in Tokyo is a memorable experience.  

    The different types of Japanese theater include stylish kabuki, which deals with ancient myths and legends, and the masked drama called noh. Another form of theater in Tokyo is bunraku, a type of puppet theater. You can find all of these styles in Tokyo, with performances throughout the year.

    1

    Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre

    Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre is home of the Takarazuka Revue, a family friendly stage show that combines singing, dancing and acting. Established in 1934, this theatre introduced a new performance gimmick where young women adopt all the roles in western style productions. Musicals performed here have included homages to classic western productions such as Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.  

    Location: 1-1-3 Yurakucho, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 100-0006 Japan

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    photo by Kakidai (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    2

    Kabuki-Za Theatre

    Kabuki-Za Theatre in Ginza is the center for traditional performing arts in all of Tokyo, and the most famous kabuki venue outside of Kyoto. Built in 1889, Kabuki-Za Theatre has presented the best of this traditional Japanese performing art for generations.

    A kabuki show normally lasts 3 to 5 hours, divided into several acts. The highly stylised costumes and actions on stage is a real spectacle, though the you might lose the finer details unless you speak Japanese. While tickets for the whole show may range from ¥2,000 to ¥20,000, you can purchase a 1-act ticket for roughly ¥1,500, making it a very affordable introduction to this ancient art form.

    Location: 4-12-15 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3545-6800

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    3

    Kaguwa

    Roppongi Kaguwa is a cabaret dinner show that combines the slapstick humor of a drag show with some exciting moments of high drama. It’s popular with groups of Japanese or visitors who want to enjoy a nice meal and have some live entertainment.

    The stage show combines themes from the Meiji era with modern surprises that includes aerial acrobatics. Show times are 7.30pm and 10.30pm, plus an extra-late show on Fridays at 1:30am.

    Location: 3-8-15 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan

    Open: Show times are 7.30 pm and 10.30 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-6434-5455

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    4

    Tokyo Opera City

    The grand concert hall and art gallery at Tokyo Opera City hold regular events featuring top domestic and international talent. Unsurprisingly, opera recitals are regularly held here along with ballet and classical music played by visiting orchestras. Tokyo Opera City is walking distance from Hatsudai Station on the Keio New Line.

    Location: 3-20-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5353-0700

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    photo by Ville Miettinen (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Kingyo

    Expect extravagant glittery costumes and lots of laughs from the Kingyo transvestite show. High-energy dancing and a heavy dose of comic irony underscore this popular stage show in Roppongi.

    You can choose from 2 sets per night, at 7.30pm and 10pm. The 60-minute show is full of big show tunes, colorful costumes and some amusing skits. Kingyo is located in the Daisho Building, and is walking distance from Roppongi Station. 

    Location: 3-14-17 Roppongi, Daisho bldg., Minato, Tokyo, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3478-3000

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