Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings


Kabukiza 歌舞伎座

Tokyo's premier kabuki stage

The grand dame of Japan's kabuki theaters, the Kabukiza theater in Ginza dates back to 1889. Sumptuous and an icon of the area, this tourist-friendly theater is the place to learn about one of Japan's most vibrant and captivating traditional artforms.

Don't Miss

  • The classic architecture of this 2,000 seat venue
  • Unique theater performances
  • Cafe Jugetsudo Kabukiza which faces the theater's rooftop

How to Get There

The Ginza area, where you'll find Kabukiza, is located next to JR Tokyo Station.

Kabukiza is a quick 2-5 minute walk from either Higashi-Ginza Station or Ginza Station on Tokyo Metro subway lines. The theater is about a 15-minute walk from JR Tokyo Station or a 10-minute walk from JR Yurakucho Station on the Yamanote line.

One of Japan's three classical theatrical artforms

Alongside with bunraku puppet theater and noh, Kabuki is one of Japan's traditional theatrical artforms. Dating back to the Edo period (1603-1867), there are many genres of kabuki performance, but they share common elements.

Kabuki's deliberate motions, exagerated posturing, and timing are highly technical, and the ornate costumes and accompanying live music are truly captivating. Even with little or no understanding of the language, the artform's allegorical nature should make it clear who the heroes and villains are. Kabuki may be seem inscrutable for the unitiated, but you can rent a headset to hear the scenes explained in English.

Breathtaking architecture

The Kabukiza theater was built in 1889 especially for performances of kabuki. Having been stricken by disaster and rebuilt several times, it most recently reopened in 2013.

Seeking to embody the beauty of Japanese architecture, the theater's design by world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma retains a characteristic tiled roof, camber barge-board (Chinese cusped gables) and Japanese-style balustrades.

Magnificent inside and out

While the exterior of Kabukiza is impactful, the theater's interior, boasting nearly 2,000 seats and high vaulted ceilings, is no less impressive. You'll even get a good view of the stage in the cheap seats toward the back and high above the stage.

The stage sets also deserve special mention: revolving platforms and trapdoors allow for rapid scene changes or the sudden appearance or disappearance of actors. Also unique is the hanamichi or footbridge that leads through the audience, allowing for a dynamic entrance or exit.

Right in the act

Kabuki performances usually consist of three or four acts and can last nearly five hours. Tickets for a full performance can cost around 20,000 yen and can be booked online in English.

A more affordable alternative are the single-act tickets you can buy on the day of the performance from a dedicated ticket window. At much lower rates, these special same day-of-performance seats and standing room only tickets can cost as little as 1,000 yen. Be warned you may need to line up rather early to secure these single-act seats.