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.

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


5.02 months ago

Traditional Japanese puppetry is exquisite. The late July/early August program always includes a show meant to entertain children and families (usually the first show, which starts at 11:00 AM). This year it included the old folk tale, "The Tongue-Cut Sparrow." The play featured puppeteers operating the large sparrow puppets descending by wire from above the stage.

The National Bunraku Theater performs about five programs a year, each running for about three weeks, so, for a visitor to Japan, it is quite likely that there will happen to be nothing showing. For those who don't want to miss a puppet theater performance, a trip to Tokushima (on the island of Shikoku, but only two-and-a-half hours away by scenic and comfortable express bus) will allow you to see a puppet performance any day of the year (two shows daily, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM) at Awa Jurobe Yashiki Puppet Theater and Museum. Buses leave from Namba and Umeda in Osaka. Or you may also see puppet theater at Awaji Puppet Theater on Awaji Island every day except Wednesdays. Comfortable buses (about two hours) leave from Sannomiya in Kobe.

See Bunraku in Osaka if possible, but the trip to Tokushima is worth it (with many other things to do and see there if you go). The trip to either Tokushima or Awaji Island takes you across the longest suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi Bridge.

5.0a year ago

Nice athmosphere, interesting plays. Has bigger and smaller halls to see plays. Liked it. If you want to learn Japanese culture, you should definately see Japanese cultural dancing and singing.

5.02 years ago

I attended the National Bunraku theatre to see a Bunraku (puppetry performance). Three puppeteers work in unison to make the puppets come alive and a narrator accompanied by a samisen player narrates the story. Absolutely masterful. Highly recommended. Headsets in English are available with a refundable deposit.

4.0a year ago

A really nice theatre with very traditional bunraku. The puppets are much smaller than many would expect, but that's due to the traditional technique. Invest in binoculars and a headset. It's worth it.

5.02 years ago

If you enjoy Japanese traditional arts, you will enjoy watching a performance at the National Bunraku Thrater. Check online for performance dates, and become familiar with the performance subject. Large theatre, main lobby same generally as most better theaters, tickets, coat check, gift and performance shoppe, gallery, tea and dessert, etc. 2nd floor are toilets, rest and social area between performances. Theatre is located in a central location of Osaka, close to main train lines, with food, drinks, and stores in immediate vicinity. A great Japanese theatre experience.

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