Minamiza Kabuki Theatre in Kyoto

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  • Minamiza Kabuki Theatre in Kyoto

    Minamiza Kabuki Theatre in Kyoto

  • Minamiza Kabuki Theatre in Kyoto

    Minamiza Kabuki Theatre in Kyoto

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Facts & Figures

The Minamiza Theatre in Kyoto is for many people the birthplace of Kabuki in Japan. Kabuki is a form of classical Japanese drama. There is no better place in the country to experience this colorful stage show. It is possible to buy tickets only for certain acts. If you feel strong enough you can enjoy the show for many hours. The theatre offers 1086 seats. The Minamiza Theatre in Kyoto is for many people the birthplace of Kabuki in Japan. Kabuki is a very popular form of classical Japanese dramatic theatre with over 400 years of history. Interesting to know that every role in Kabuki is played by men. There is no better place in the country to experience this colorful stage show than here in Kyoto. It is possible to buy tickets only for certain acts. If you have enough time you can enjoy the show for many hours. A special highlight is the long extension/runway of the stage called hanamichi (Flower Passage), which brings the actors close to the audience. Kabuki is recognized as one of the country's three major classical performance arts together with bunraku and noh, and is also on the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The theatre offers 1086 seats and the interior and exterior design is absolutely beautiful with its mixture of Western and Japanese influences. Besides Kabuki shows you can also enjoy here concerts and musicals. These days many Kabuki actors are very popular and they appear also in TV dramas or movies.

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  • Minamiza Kabuki Theatre:
  • Months of Kabuki performances - May, June, September
  • Ticket Price Range - 4200 yen to 27000 yen
  • Get some tickets here

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The story of Kabuki started with a female performer called Izumo no Okuni in 1603. She worked at the Izumo Taisha Shrine in the Shimane Prefecture as a priestess. Locals liked her play and it became more and more popular. Even the emperor asked her to perform for him. Later the Tokugawa shogunate and ruler of the area gave the order in 1629 to ban women from this play. From that moment on only male performers (onnagata) were allowed for the Kabuki stage show. Between 1615 and 1623 (the beginning of the Edo period) officials of the city of Kyoto permitted to build seven Kabuki theaters. The Minamiza Kabuki Theatre was one of them. None of the other six are still existing. The current building dates back to 1929. The architect was inspired by the style of the Momoyama period (1573 - 1615). The whole building was modernized in 1991. In 1996 it was registered by the government as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. In 2018 the theatre opened its doors to the public after it underwent a major renovation to make it more earthquake-resistant, to integrate the latest technologies for the stage, and to improve the accessibility for the elderly and disabled.


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Minamiza Kabuki Theatre is located within Gion district in Kyoto near Keihan Gion-shijo Station at the corner of Shijo-dori and Kawabata-dori.
Address: 198 Nakano-cho, Shijo-dori, Yamato-oji nishiiru, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

How to get to Minamiza Kabuki Theatre?

  • 1min walk from Gion-Shijo Station (served by Keihan Line) to Minamiza Theatre

Sightseeing spots


Architecture style of the building - Enjoy the beautiful Momoyama period inspired design (gabled roof etc.) of the Minamiza Kabuki Theatre.

Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)


Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).


Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from the Imperial Palace through the Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri as the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

Arashiyama Mifune Matsuri (third Sunday of May)
The first part is held at the Kuramazaki Shrine. Later a procession is leading to the Oi River, where more ceremonies and traditional dances (Funa Asobi) are held. The Arashiyama Mifune Matsuri started in 1914.


Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month of July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).


Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which lasts around 2 hours. Illumination event at Kodai-ji (end of October - beginning of December)

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Top rated - Best Machiya Houses in Kyoto

THE MACHIYA Ebisuya, 192 Ebisuya-cho Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8062

This 3-star guesthouse got an excellent rating. All 30 individually furnished rooms offer free WiFi, air conditioning, bathrooms incl. toilets, fridges, 40-inch flat-screen TVs, and more. THE MACHIYA Ebisuya is located in central Kyoto.

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The Machiya Kazahaya, 570-6 Kazahayacho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, 600-8475

The Machiya Kazahaya offers for all guest rooms free WiFi, air conditioning, safes, bathrooms with toilets, refrigerators, and much more. Enjoy also the beautiful Japanese Garden. Guests gave this property the rating - Exceptional.

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Kyomachiya Ryokan Sakura Urushitei, 425 Kichimonjicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, 600-8069

This beautiful 3-star guesthouse offers 32 rooms with free WiFi, air conditioning, bathrooms incl. showers and toilets, refrigerators, and much more. Enjoy also the relaxing indoor public bath (no minerals). Guests gave this property the rating - Wonderful.

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