Minamiza Theater
Minamiza Theater
4.5
About
The Minami-za Theater will present "Akoya" by Bandō Tamasaburō from June 12th to 26th. This is a major role of Onnagata (female actor), which requires a background in the Koto, Shamisen, and Kokyu (Japanese violin), as well as the ability to express subtle emotions while actually performing the three pieces on the stage. Tamasaburo Bando's "Akoya" has a reputation for being one-of-a-kind. Please fully enjoy the gorgeous stage along with the beautiful music performance. *Tickets available at the Minamiza Box Office and the web site above.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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Neighbourhood: Gion
Gion is Kyoto's famed Geisha District (called "Geiko" in Kyoto). Though Gion's many tea houses and entertainment restaurants are closed to foreigners, Geiko and Maiko in their traditional makeup with gilded hair in full kimono can be seen drifting the streets on their way to and from work, where they fan dance, sing, and play instruments for customers. Gion lights up at night, when the ancient-looking streets glow with lanterns along the river, where weeping willows catch the starlight and the air is warmed with conversation. Groups pass through to populate the restaurants and bars along the riverfront, but Gion still manages to be a mostly quiet district, due in large part to limited automotive traffic through many of its streets. Gion is a wonderful place to indulge in Kyoto's local and customary cuisines, and is best enjoyed after dark.
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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 waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles168 reviews
Excellent
82
Very good
66
Average
17
Poor
1
Terrible
2

raetrip
Vancouver, Canada321 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
I was so looking forward to this performance, but was disappointed. It was billed on an English brochure as an introduction to Kabuki, but the 45 minute lecture was completely in Japanese. It could have had English interjections throughout the lecture and more examples of Kabuki art. There was an audio guide, but it was very short and cost $10. The Kabuki show during the second half was much better.
Written 9 June 2024
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.

Justin S
Bloomington, IN15 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
You will not see a kabuki play, period. Wrap your head around that fact.

The 90-minute "performance" is made up of 1) a 60-minute lecture about kabuki in Japanese, 2) a 10-minute intermission, and 3) a 20-minute "kabuki dance review". The whole thing smacks of seedy Japanese television - it even includes a really awful singing host in pink sequins. We requested a refund on the ground that there was no play, as advertised; these charlatans refused. The people who left positive reviews must be fake or brain-dead.
Written 21 May 2024
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.

Anya T
Dublin, Ireland25 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
We attended an educational lecture that was advertised as being suitable for English-speakers, followed by a short Kabuki performance.

The program relied on audio-guides that we were informed can be rented at the venue for an extra charge (perfectly ok!)
I am sure the program would have been fantastic, but unfortunately there were not enough English audio guides available to rent. Even though we arrived well on time before the performance start time, the English audio guides were already sold out.

Respectfully, for a program that advertises suitability for non-Japanese speakers, relying on the availability of English audio guides, this is unacceptable. We were not able to follow the first half of the program at all. I ended up leaving, as it was a complete waste of my time to stay and understand nothing, and returned for the second part of the performance only. The dancing robot of the second part was an interesting choice and I am sure we would have loved it had we understood what was going on. The dancing, costuming, music, and acting was lovely, but again, we had no context as we understood nothing from the first part.

Unfortunately, as we were unable to follow the entire first port, we did not receive the value that was advertised at all. I am very disappointed and regret that we spent time and money for this program. We were hoping for an educational program about Kabuki as performing art, and did not receive that in any way.
Written 19 May 2024
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.

Jeff K
Pittsburgh, PA2,165 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
My wife and I caught the March kabuki performance at the Minamiza Theater. We rented an audioguide with English narration of the performance. The translation was helpful although it didn’t cover the 10-minute introduction of the show. For the performance, the translation was not word for word but allowed you to follow the flow of the story. The show lasted for 2 hours. I think that there was a subsequent dance performance after an intermission but we didn’t stick around to see it.

I had been told that a lot of kabuki shows are comedies but this one was a tragedy. The show was pretty good for the first hour or so but the latter part really dragged.

I was glad that I had gone to the bathroom prior to the show because I didn’t see anyone leave their seat while the program as on.

Overall I was happy to see kabuki theater once but I wouldn’t sign up for a repeat visit.
Written 24 March 2024
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.

MidcoVincent
Hong Kong, China2,782 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
We went to the Miyako no Nigiwai performance at Minamiza on 24 June. It is an annual joint performance of Gokagai (five hanamachi or geiko entertainment districts) held in every June, which is a unique opportunity to see geikos and maikos from Kyoto’s five hanamachi performing all at once.
We did not know about this performance at all before we came across an online post about it. We were lucky to be in Kyoto the weekend the performance would take place and that tickets were not yet sold out. We ordered the tickets online and picked them up at the venue prior to the performance. There were a total of 4 performances (2 performances/day) this time. The performance was mainly attended by the locals. The whole performance lasted for 2.5 hours with an intermission. Each hanamachi performed a dance individually and all the five hanamachi appeared on stage together for the final dance. It was truly a special experience to see performances by geikos and maikos from the five hanamachi. It was also interesting to see some geikos and maikos outside and inside the venue who were there to attend the performance.
On a side note, lockers were available at a small fee in the theater if you went shopping before attending a performance.
Written 23 July 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.

Ren
Arkansas75 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Business
I went with my language school. Even if you don’t understand what the play is about, like me, the visuals and acting was an experience on its own. Definitely go if you get a chance.
Written 27 September 2022
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.

Randall K
Canberra, Australia1,225 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
We saw a performance in this grand theatre and it was amazing. The building itself is beautiful, especially the interior. The show itself was fantastic - an outstanding performance by talented artists. The singing and music was magical, not to mention the choreography and costumes. In some theatre performances I find myself looking at my watch to see how long the show has been going, but I never did during this show. From start to finish I was mesmerised.
Written 1 March 2020
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.

dyscrasia
Madison, WI9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
My family and I experienced 5 hours of kabuki at Minamaza. There were small personal radios for rent in English and other languages for non-Japanese speakers. Not only did they describe the action on the stage, but discussed the origins, background and nature of the art. It is something that those interested in Japan and its culture should do at least once. It was explained that as a presentational art, its aim is beauty, and certainly we were not disappointed. Western theater is by contrast more representational and in concern with thoughts and ideas... Omoshioroi... almost the reverse of things like semi-e painting where mere strokes are supposed to signify profound truth... great stuff.
Written 20 January 2020
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.

KupitDom
34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
I managed to buy two tickets to Kabuki performance for 25/12/2019 just one day before final day of it's operation ( the theatre was closing on 26/12/2019)
Since I wanted to really see faces and cloth of actors close ( part of the experience) I decided to buy tickets in the fourth row from the stage which cost me about $500 usd
It's astronomical cost but then I decided that I can narrow my diet a bit and eat real cheap food and not drink alcohol and save money that was!!
I also hired English translation device ( only $10) and was happy to do it!!
Kabuki looks simple but in reality is super complicated and this English translation helped me to enjoy it much more!!
The performance is real feast of colours cloth faces and very bright and often grotesque make up
All roles are played by onnagata ( rough translation is male actors playing female roles!!!)
I lack expertise and training in describing my pleasure from this performance: only trained professional journalist or top quality bloggers can venture into description of this show!!
It's absolutely spectacular and very very unusual !! The whole show last about 5 hours but you don't notice it at all!!
There are two intervals with sufficient time to buy delicious Japanese food at the restaurant!! If you never tried OBENTO box it's good place to try it - it's delicious ABD -00% authentic
After the show I came out on the street and it took me a while to accept mentally what has just happened!!
Public in the audience is really brilliantly dressed: super classy Japanese kimonos on display with very fine features! And if you ask in Japanese nicely and politely some people would even let you take picture if their kimonos with brilliant obi!!!
Can't recommend it high enough!! Put it on the top of your bucket list!!
Written 3 January 2020
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.

mummblingme
Chicago, IL226 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
The oldest Kabuki Theater in Kyoto, Minamiza just completed extensive renovation in November, 2018--400 years after its original opening. Kabuki offers a time honored tradition of colorful storytelling with on stage male actors who play both female and male parts and are considered celebrities. Make sure to get audio headsets in English ($7 each to rent) of the story you are seeing and sit tight for a long performance of more than 3 hours. There are intermissions, and guests bring in their own food. If you want a souvenir (post cards of the actors are popular), get them before the show or during intermissions. The concession stands are closed after the performance. Kabuki is immensely popular, so purchase tickets early and for a price between $30 and $200 per ticket pending where you sit. The theater is conveniently located 1/2 block from the Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Line.
Written 23 December 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.

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Minamiza Theater - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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