National Theatre
National Theatre
4.5
Theaters
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Akasaka / Roppongi
Not so long ago the Akasaka and Roppongi areas were famous for their nightlife, high-class restaurants, bars and clubs. More recently, with the opening of Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown and Akasaka Sacas, the area has declared itself as the most fashionable spot to be seen. The area also hosts the National Art Center and the Mori Art Museum and lots of trendy art galleries.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles113 reviews
Excellent
44
Very good
61
Average
7
Poor
1
Terrible
0

100nights19flights
Japan248 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Business
The audio guide is reasonably priced and you'll notice that most of the Japanese audience even has them. The reception was excellent. An earphone is provided but I used my own earphones with the receiver which provide more comfort. It is broadcast in mono so only one ear will work.
Written July 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jen L
Tokyo, Japan656 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2010
When you ask people what they think about watching kabuki in Japan, you will get mixed reviews. One friend raved about it and said it is a must to see kabuki; others says it is unbearably long and is just full on heavily made up guys; some locals swear they have never seen it. I am glad I was not discouraged by the naysayers -- I would have missed the best play that I have seen in my life.

I attended the last kabuki play to be staged in 2010, The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, also known as La Vendetta. I'm going to leave the critique to the critics, but to my simple, non-Japanese speaking mind, it was a really excellent play -- extremely moving. It was really spectacular -- especially the fight scenes in the snow -- snow! Amazing stuff, all carried out on a wide stage. The sets are breathtaking and the actors are excellent.

What made the experience absolutely wonderful was the venue -- the Large Treater of the National Theatre of Japan. A short walk from the Hanzomon station -- just read the signs and you won't be lost. The NTJ complex in Tokyo is a set of dignified and beautiful buildings, surrounded by landscaping. Everything you need to endure a kabuki play (which is almost 5 hours, including intermission times) is provided -- an English language audio guide (very essential), food (also a must; if you don't bring a packed lunch, better buy from the stalls before kabuki starts as the lines grow long during intermission), facilities like lockers (to store bags and winter coats, since the aisles and seats are narrow and small) for just 10 to 20 yen per use (bring coins!) depending on locker size), toilets and gift shops. These were all within the Large Theater. There is an English speaking usher to answer questions about where to go and what to do, so hooray for English speakers.

Aside from watching kabuki, you can watch people, too -- gorgeous women remove Western style coats to reveal the most beautiful kimonos. The men look dapper, too, but it is the elegant women who steal the show.

NTJ also shows bunraku (puppets) and noh (dance, I think)-- check out their helpful and informative website for schedules and ticketing.
Written January 13, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katerina-An
Athens, Greece12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Couples
The visit here is must!!! It is worth to see a kabuki theater show and you can find tickets not so expensive. Also there is an english guide in order to understand what you see during the show. A different experience especially if you are from Europe. Kabuki theater is something that rarely someone can see outside Japan.
Written March 20, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jwells45
ct42 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Family
Your trip to Japan is not complete without this - just being part of the audience, many dressed in period garb and lovingly adoring the actors - it is just a fantastic experience - go, please go!
Written February 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

david e
veszprem66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Solo
Very high quality performance, excellent English explanations on head-set. An experience, not just a performance. You need to book, I booked on the morning when the ticket office opened, there were very few available seats at the higher price remaining. Online booking is possible. The Kabuki I saw started at midday and finished after 4:30, including a meal and a drinks break. The restaurants in the theatre are good, snacks available. Most younger Japanese also had head-sets to explain the subtle meanings, and possibly archaic language. I think I was the only non-Japanese in the hall, everyone was very friendly, offering sweets and help to understand. Despite the duration, I was totally absorbed the whole time, with the explanations in my ear it was easy to follow the complicated plot. If you have time, and want to see a real traditional theatre, then this is one thing you must try.
Written April 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

brixtontrev
United Kingdom1,747 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Friends
This is a great venue for performances of traditional Japanese theatre like Kabuki and Bunraku which are performed in different theatres at the same venue. This is a very large and dedicated venue and the staff are very helpful and a fair few speak English. During performances the restaurants are open and serve very good meals. There are also some Kabuki memorial tributes around the theatre which are worth seeking out
Written February 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

edward02494
Boston, MA179 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Family
Japanese opera is all day in 1 hour acts. We purchased just 1 hour. The many of the people get dressed up in traditional garb to see the play. There were English subtitles. The acting is very over the top. The audience calls out to some of the characters during the performance. Enjoyable for its difference
Written January 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MadrugadaMistral
Beaverton, OR87 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Solo
First, I bought my ticket to see a bunraku play from the web site while I was still in the U.S. I had my heart set on seeing bunraku while I was in Tokyo. The tickets seemed to sell out almost immediately when they were released, and I bought a ticket for a bunraku that started at 10:30 a.m. on a Monday (about $70 U.S.). When I got there, I purchased an English audio guide for 700 yen which explained the action perfectly. What I did not know was that the bunraku would be 10 1/2 hours long, lasting from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.! The web site did not explain that at all. I enjoyed it quite a bit but after 4 hours I felt that I had seen enough and left during one of the numerous intermissions. It was a great experience though. The bunraku puppeteers were masterly.
Written June 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jerry J
Hallandale Beach, FL624 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
This Performing Arts Center has two theaters - Large and Small. We saw Bunraku one afternoon in the Small house, and Kabuki three weeks later in the Large. The performances are exceptional quality, and the facility is modern, comfortable, and has large lobbies. Be prepared that these types of performances often run three hours or more, with two intermissions, at which times, the audiences often have lunch, which they can purchase on site, or bring in. There are excellent English translations and explanations, either through headsets, or small screens in the Large Theatre seats. The two performances we attended were 99% Japanese audiences, but we would highly recommend for all visitors. You need to book early, as each performance was very full. Bunraku was the revelation for us, a really unique theatre art form, and the Kabuki was spectacular.
Written October 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

J Teo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia2,508 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Family
The National Theatre of Japan. If I had more time, I would research to see a Kabuki or a Bunraku performance here. Kabuki performances are dance performances where its stylised art of drama with elaborate makeup is often portrayed as attractive Japanese culture worthy of an experience by visitors. But a performance at the National Theatre tends to be among the best so seats are harder to come by at the last moment. Bunraku are performances done by puppet masters using puppets to tell a story. The puppets are usually elaborate almost lifelike and the performances quite evocative. This would be an interesting departure from the usual symphonies in other parts of the world.
Written December 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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