The Kabuki-za theater in Ginza is the leading home of the traditional form of Japanese theater, known as Kabuki. Kabuki was first performed in the early 17th century, with unique performances and costumes it has now become a symbol of Japanese Culture.
The Kabuki-za theater first opened in 1889, but was unfortunately burnt to the ground in Oct 1921. Rebuilding of the much loved theatre began in the following June. The uncompleted Kabuki-za theater was again damaged by the great earthquake that hit the Kanto area in September 1923. The new theatre was finally completed in December 1924.
During the war years, plays still continued at Kabuki-za until the massive Tokyo air raid of May 1945 totally gutted the building. The building was rebuilt in 1950 and was designed in the same architectural style as the 1924 building.
In 2010 the theatre complex was redeveloped and the post war building was completely replaced with another facsimile of the 1924 building. The 3 year project saw the building rebuilt with the addition of 29 floor office tower to rear of the building. The project was said to be needed to modernise the internal structure for seismic proofing and modern access requirements, but we can’t help thinking the Ginza priced rents of its new tower helped in making the decision to replace Kabuki-za once again. Despise being a new building the developers have done a fantastic job in recreating the heritage of the former Kabuki-za and today the theatre is more popular than ever.
A full Kabuki play is quite long, if you just want to get an idea of what Kabuki is like you can purchase tickets for just one act only. Headsets are also available for rental with English narration to explain what is going on during the play.
Kabuki-za is located near Higashi Ginza Station (A11) (H09) which is on the Hibiya and Toei Asakusa subway lines or via a short walk up Harumi Dori Ave from the main Ginza Station (G09) (M16) (H08).