The minor obstacle of not being able to comprehend a single word of what the actors utter should not impede a visit to a traditional kabuki performance. A dazzling spectacle of singing and dancing, the performances offer a visual feast: from the intricate costumes and elaborate make up of the all male cast down to the fantastical stage sets depicting colorful pre-Edo Japan scenes.
The number one spot to head for a flavour of kabuki is the famous Ginza establishment Kabuki-za, which has daily performances and provision of English language programmes and audio guides to help keep up with the plot.
Shows may last an epic five hours, but the uninitiated are advised to buy single act tickets. While Kabuki-za’s days in its current incarnation are numbered – the historic theatre is to be demolished next April and rebuilt over the coming three years – other places to watch kabuki include the National Theatre and Meiji-za.
Image: by JNTO