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National Bunraku Theater

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 1-12-10 Nippombashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0073, Osaka Prefecture
Phone Number: +81 6-6212-2531
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: Yes

One of the few places where bunraku, traditional Japanese pupper theater,...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 87 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 53
  • 31
    Very good
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
Japan's fascinating puppet theatre - teamwork and discipline at its best

Attending a performance at the National Bunraku Puppet Theatre in Osaka is a highlight. Check the schedules in advance, as the troupe only performs at certain times of the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Sydney, Australia
via mobile
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87 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Attending a performance at the National Bunraku Puppet Theatre in Osaka is a highlight. Check the schedules in advance, as the troupe only performs at certain times of the year. It is fascinating to see and hear how the troupe works together to bring these puppets to life. You haven't seen teamwork and discipline until you have seen one of... More 

1 Thank Kiku2
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
82 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The National Bunraku Theater in Osaka is located on Nippombashi Street near the Nippombashi subway station. This is around the busy Dotonbori district. I had heard of the Bunraku art form many years ago, so this was one of the first places I "bee lined" toward upon our arrival in Osaka. Bunraku is a large sized puppet show. The puppets... More 

Thank John L
Level Contributor
126 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you are in Osaka and have the opportunity to see a real Bunraku performance at this venue - do it. The plays are rather long at around 4 hours which is a bit daunting,but there is plenty going on and it is very interesting to watch the narrator or singer(s) and shamisen players telling the story-even if you don't... More 

1 Thank geebee01
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Level Contributor
101 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2015

The Japanese puppetry is simply amazing. There is something very beautiful about seeing this age old art being so alive in the contemporary Japanese society today. If you are in town, you must not miss this unique opportunity!

Thank ElenSun-Hi
Ilkeston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
193 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2015

A 4 ½ hour Japanese puppet performance didn’t, initially, sound very thrilling – especially as the performances started at 11am and 4pm - but we thought we ought to sample it & booked online. We are so glad we did. The theatre is signposted from within Nipponbashi subway station is just a few minutes’ walk. The first thing we noticed... More 

4 Thank Jeffrey F
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed the Bunraku performance where the art of music, story telling and traditional puppetry far exceeded my expectations. The theater is beautiful, easy to find by subway (Nipponbashi station) and there isn't a bad seat in the house. The best seats in front give you a closeup view of the beautiful detail on the puppets' heads and costumes.... More 

2 Thank liv2luv
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2015

If you love puppetry, this is a must see. At home, I perform and teach hula kiʻi, traditional Hawaiian puppetry. What a wonderful opportunity to see Japanese puppetry! The show is subtitled on a screen above the stage, so English speakers can keep up with the action. The daytime presentation is simplified for modern audiences, so I would call it... More 

1 Thank HulaRider
Level Contributor
610 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 980 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2015

The puppets themselves are done up in great detail and have an excellent mechanism supporting their bodies. They are perfect imitations of “little humans”. Japanese performing arts are very beautiful, unique, and part of the country’s rich culture and heritage. You should definitely go and see a performance of either Bunraku or Kabuki or Noh.

Thank SettembreNero
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2015

We love very much the traditional puppetry that is well performed by the local artists in this theater. We did not understand the language but the performance was very skillful and worthy.

1 Thank Barbara B
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2015 via mobile

We were staying nearby and the Nippombashi subway was our local stop, so one afternoon we dropped into the National Bunraku Theatre not with the idea to sit through the very long play but just to learn a little more from the small exhibit located on site. We found a very welcoming staff member who spoke good English who allowed... More 

2 Thank cjae_act

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