Dance and Drama: Nikko Momijiza
Experience taishu-engeki in Nikko, where traditions of kabuki theater and elegant dance combine with modern music and elaborate costumes
Nikko City Tourism Association
Just a short walk from the World Heritage shrines and temples of Nikko is a theater where you can watch performances of taishu-engeki, an artform that evolved from the performing art of kabuki, and incorporates dances, bright costumes and modern touches to make it relevant and fun for both Japanese and international audiences.
The Nikko Momiji-za theater hosts regular shows featuring acclaimed traveling actors who perform all over Japan. While taishu-engeki performances usually last 3-4 hours, at Momijiza you can watch 40-60 minute versions, allowing visitors to fit in a performance while sightseeing in Nikko.
Experience the okuri-dashi, a long-standing tradition where actors and actresses see the audience off after the show and chat with them. Be sure to take a photo with one of the elegant and elaborately dressed onnagata, male actors who specialize in performing female roles.
If you are staying overnight in Nikko you can catch one of the evening shows. Just be sure to reserve your seat by 17:00 on the day of the show.
How to get there
From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya Station (about 50 minutes). Transfer to the JR Nikko Line to Nikko (about 40 minutes). The theater is about 10 minutes from the station on the World Heritage loop bus, just a short walk from the Yasukawa-cho bus stop.
3-3 Yasukawa-cho, Nikko-shi, Tochigi-ken