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National Bunraku Theater

Address: 1-12-10 Nippombashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0073, Osaka Prefecture
Phone Number: +81 6-6212-2531
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Ranked #19 of 282 things to do in Osaka
Type: Theaters, Theater & Concerts
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: One of the few places where bunraku, traditional Japanese pupper theater, can be enjoyed, this...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Theaters, Theater & Concerts
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: One of the few places where bunraku, traditional Japanese pupper theater, can be enjoyed, this theater combines the latest in theater technology with architectural elements from the Edo period in Japan.

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61 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2015

We decided to go to the theatre to get some culture into our trip of Japan and weren't disappointed. It was great to see some traditional Japanese theatre that has been around for centuries. A word of warning though - these performances are LONG. We stayed for part of the performance only (still spent over 2 hours in the theatre... More 

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New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2014

This theater offers Bunraku AKA Joruri puppetry by Gidayu masters. Some stories are same as Kabuki plays, but this is performed by singing along Shamisen. It is long and hard to understand the lyrics, so you have to either love or interested in this type of art. Hiroshi Sugimoto (artist) produced a remake of old Bunraku and toured in Europe... More 

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Las Vegas, Nevada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2014

This is a must see in Osaka. There is an English translation headphone which is a must. We bought tickets for one act and it was a couple of hours. The only disadvantage is that the seats are in the far back for one act. In hindsight I would have purchased tickets up closer and left at intermission. It is... More 

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San Jose. Ca.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2014

Enjoyed a performance of this classical Art. Tickets we easy to get on spot worth while in my opinon

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

If you are interested in arts and would like to learn more about a traditional form of art - puppetry in this case - born in Osaka, this is the place to go.

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Bloomington, Indiana
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

While Bunraku puppets are one of Japan's great serious theatrical art forms, and are often mentioned along with Kabuki and Noh, they are much more accessible to foreign visitors. Tickets are affordable and easy to come by. Plays are highly varied and offer English headphone translation. Make sure to sit close to the stage, on the right if possible, and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
52 attraction reviews
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

Purchased tickets as I had heard it was wonderful. I was not disappointed by the amazing puppetry and theater, but no one warned me about the length of performance. The play I attended was 4 hours in total. While amazing it was honestly just too long. BUT, I'd still suggest you go. It is a national icon, and quite frankly... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
347 reviews 347 reviews
235 attraction reviews
192 helpful votes 192 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2014

We travelled across town to here and really wished we had not bothered, the exhibition was in a single small room, uninspiring. We tried to see if there was a show on during our visit, but it seemed not. Disappointing.

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Orange, Australia
Top Contributor
254 reviews 254 reviews
191 attraction reviews
150 helpful votes 150 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Each puppet is manipulated by three puppeteers in the show, which enables the puppet to move like a human. If you are visiting Osaka, check out their schedule on their website. If you are lucky, bunraku is on the theater during your stay there. Don't forget that professional bunraku can be seen in limited periods mainly in Osaka and Tokyo.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Renton, Washington
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
71 attraction reviews
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

I'm certainly not a theater/Broadway type of person, so I typically would not visit this type of venue. However, I knew it was a unique aspect of Japanese culture and theater, so I decided to visit anyway. I purchased the tickets online - at the lowest rate (I recall it was 2300 yen), i.e. worst seats, and hoped for the... More 

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