National Bunraku Theater

Sightseeing information about National Bunraku Theater in Japan.


National Bunraku Theater3.7

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This national theater is designed to exclusively show the traditional puppet-mastery of bunraku. Each puppet is manipulated by three puppeteers - one operating the feet, another the left hand, and the main artist the head and the right hand. The performance is accompanied by the narrator and the shamisen player.

There are two performances a day, each lasting about 4 hours. Don't forget that the theater is usually open for 3-week runs in January, April, June, July/August and November. Single act tickets are available at the counter on the same day. English pamphlet and audio guide are available.

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Airport/Sta.Osaka International Airport (about 15.2km) Google Transit

Reviews

4.0a month ago

Worth a visit even if you don’t watch a show! Free small and informative exhibit about Bunraku (Japanese Puppet Theatre essentially), I didn’t catch any show but it was still fascinating to read about every aspect of putting the show together. There’s also free wifi, a toilet and nice seats if you want to make it a pit stop.

5.0a week ago

A wonderful performance with explanation of the many aspects of the traditional art of Bunraku. Be sure to ask for audio translation and also check out the exhibit hall which offers a great deal of useful information.

1.03 months ago

Foreigners are only allowed to sit in the last two rows of the theatre, even half the place is empty they refuse to sell foreigners other tickets. As a foreigner you are also not allowed to enter the hall right away. You are required to wait in a separate area while the Japanese alone enter without being “disturbed” by foreigners. Some look at you with resentment anyway. It’s also really hard to follow the performance from those backseats.

The whole thing is, sadly, legal in Japan. Even more it is very sad to read positive reviews of Americans here who were so ignorant not to realizes the racial segregation at the theatre. They should know better. Well, all of us should.

5.0a month ago

We had such a wonderful time watching the Bunraku show and learning about the theatre. The English guidance was really great too.

4.0a week ago

I really enjoyed this Bunraku experience but the show is very long and not always available with an English audio guide. I purchased tickets for the 2nd act (there were 2 that day) 30 min before show time and about half the auditorium was available. I sat in the seventh row amongst the locals and did not experience any segregation or treatment as a foreigner as a recent post suggested. I was given a brief one page synopsis of the story but was warned that there would be no English subtitles for me to follow along with the dialogue, considering that this was a rare opportunity to experience this unique art form I still decided to attend. The show started at 2pm, after 20 min there was an intro to Bunraku experience in which a narrator introduced the roles of the singer, shamisen player and of course the puppeteers. There was a 10 min intermission and then about a 75 min continuation of the show. Not understanding the language can be taxing on your patience after a while, I even saw some Japanese people doze off next to me well into the show. I would have opted for the single act tickets if they were available as 15-20 min is really all you need to witness and appreciate the artistry. But I’m still glad I was able to experience Bunraku at the national theatre even though it was a little long and would recommend it to anyone interested in this very Japanese experience.

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