Festivals & Events
The Takigi Noh at Kofukuji Temple is the perfect combination of fascinating cultural history and mysterious theater as the traditional art of Noh is brought to life against a backdrop of flaming bonfires.
Kofukuji is located a five-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station, and a 20-minute walk from JR Nara Station.
You can also get to Kofukuji by hopping on any of the buses bound for Kasuga Taisha, just get off at Kencho-mae bus stop.
The Takigi Noh dance festival has been performed since the 9th century. The dance performed is called Noh, one of Japan’s oldest dances. During the dance, tales from Japan's rich folklore are retold.
The performers wear masks, allowing them to get into character. These masks transform the performers into elderly people, children, and even ghosts. The skill and artistry of Noh dancing are in expressing the character’s intentions using only physical movement, as one’s face is hidden behind the frozen masks.
The performances are held on the third Friday and Saturday of May. Come early if you want a seat, as seating is limited. Seats run around 3,500 yen for a single day or 5,000 for both. If you can't snag a seat you'll still be able to stand and enjoy the show.
In between the Noh performances are comical performances known as kyogen. The contrast couldn't be bigger as the comedy is as high energy and ridiculous as the Noh is meditative and spiritual.