HOW to enjoy KABUKI Play in TOKYO?
There are about three main KABUKI Theaters in TOKYO; National Theater at HANZO-MON, Shinbasi Enbujyo Theater in Shinbashi and this KABUKIZA new theater in Higasi Ginza or KOBIKI-TYo. There are another theater where they play KABUKI some times, for example, MEIJI-ZA or ASAKUSA KOKAIDO theater etc.
The KABUKIZA theater just opened this April after three years construction must be the best theater and now it is one of the most popular sight seeing spots in TOKYO.
The traditional atmosphere of this theater is so wonderful. The problems are the ticket price is so expensive and it is hard and difficult to get them.
I would like to take Gunter and Ellen to this wonderful theater in October. But I am sorry it is difficult for me to invite both of you, because the best seat is 20,000 Yen which is too expensive for a poor old pensioner. I need to know when Gunter could arrive at Tokyo and had time to see KABUKI because I must buy the tickets in 14th September at the theater.
If I would be lucky to be able to buy the third class tickets, 6,000 Yen, I may invite you.
But generally speaking most of cheaper seats are sold out very early and quickly.
There is another way to enjoy in 2,000 Yen in KABUKIZA. It is ONE Scean Ticket, ICHIMAKUMI Ticket but you must join in the long line before the performance.
I will now considering to take Hersha and Erik to the National Theater in July when they play a special program for students. The young Kabuki Actors explain the Kabuki easily.
Besides the tickets price is only around 1500 yen for students.
(3)ENGLISH GUIDE and Guide Book may help you to understand the story.
The Kabuki story is often very strange just like Opera Play in western world.
So I think that you don't need to understand the full story. You may only enjoy the gorgeous costume or exciting Make up which change an old man to young girls.
Even so I agree that you can enjoy more if you understand the story and about the famous actors. I expect the English Guide will be useful which cost 500 Yen or more.
There are Two main Categories in KABUKI Plays, JIDAI Mono and SEWA Mono.
Jidai-mono is mainly historical and SAMURAI play like famous CYUSHIN GURA, 47 assassins and KANJIN-TYO, KUMAGAI JINYA etc.
The Heroes and Heroines of SEWA MONO are citizen common people and mainly some kinds of Crime or Love story. For example the Story of SHIRANAMI GONIN OTOKO, Five Thieves Story reminds me the cinema, Oceans 11.
Some Plays are SF or Fantasy and KABUKI 18 BAN, 18 popular plays are rather easier to understand.
Though the most Important thing is not to understand but feel and enjoy the performance.