TOKYO KABUKI GUIDE.COM
Q1. What time does your tour start?

          We meet at 9:40am in front of the Kabuki-za theater. I will tell you about the theater and take
          picuters for you before we walk to the Japanese-tea salon near the theatre. The lecture of
          Kabuki and the shows you will see starts at 10:00am and ends at 10:40am.



          Matinee is a great wat to experience Kabuki in March and April.  The schedule above is the
          same in March and April. 

 

Q2. What time does your tour end?

          After the lecture, we come back to the Kabukiza-theatre about 10-15 minutes before the show
          starts.  I also show you how to rent an audio guide (earphone guide).



Q3. Do you think the earphone guide is needed to see Kabuki?

          The earphone guide is helpful, as a summary of the action dialogue on stage is given in
          English. The explanation about stories, sound effects, the actors etc. is also valuable.
          The earphone guides are also available in Japanese, and many Japanese rent them as
          Kabuki dialogues are sometimes in very old-fashioned Japanese, and some customs shown 
          on stage are different from today's customs. 


          The audio guide rental fee is about 650 yen.

                    (A refundable deposit of 1,000 yen is required when you rent the earphone guide.)



Q4. Why do you give a pre-performance lecture?

          I think that the information from the earphone guide is helpful but it is not enough to enjoy
          Kabuki, especially for people who have not seen Kabuki before as it is limited to the
          performance you see only. Visual pre-performance information gives you a much better
          overview and insight into Kabuki.



          I also give you historical information to understand and enjoy Kabuki, and tell you about
          highlights to look for, remarkable points and features on the individual performances.
          You will also get a time schedule of the show, suggestions for what to do during the
          intermissions and so on. I think this information is necessary to enjoy Kabuki as a whole
          in true Japanese style and to spend your time and money effectively. 

 
Q5. How many Kabuki shows have you seen so far?

          I have seen almost 200 shows to date. I have been going to the Kabuki-za theatre at least
          twice a month over the last 6 years. And of course, I also go to other theaters to see
          Kabuki.



Q6. When did you go to the Kabuki-za theater for the first time?
          The first time I went to the Kabuki-za to see Kabuki when I was 5.
          My grandmother often took me to the theatre before I entered elementary school. 
         
          We were lucky to usually have box seats because an acquaintance of ours gave us the
          tickets.I still remember the beautiful Kabuki stage and actors that I saw with my
          grandmother to this day.



Q7. Did you study Kabuki at school?

          I didn't study Kabuki at school. However, I have studied Kabuki in classes given by the
          instructor of the theatre arts course of Waseda University, and of course I have read many
          books on the subject.



Q8. What is different in the tickets you offer and the single show "Makumi"
       tickets?
 
          You can see the entire programs of the show if you attend my tour, usually between 3 and 4
          plays. With "Makumi" tickets, you are only able to see a single show. These tickets are
          very popular for people who don't have any advance tickets, or don't have enough time to 
          see a whole show.

 
          "Makumi" tickets are only available for the fourth floor, and the number of tickets is 
          limited to 90 seating and 60 standing tickets per show. 



          "Makumi" tickets can only be bought 20 to 30 minutes before each show begins.
          Of course, people are queuing up quite early, sometimes hours before the sales start,
          and tickets may become sold out quickly. 


          Since the fourth floor is very high up in the theatre, the view of the stage and the 
          "hanamichi" (stage extension) is restricted.



          Kabuki-za theatre is also famous for its originality souvenir shops and delicious sweets and
          food. The concessions for these things are only on the first, second and third floors.  Many
          famous paintings also hang on the walls of these floors. The fourth floor, for which the
          "Makumi" tickets are valid, is accessed through a competely separate entrance and has no
          shops or restaurants. There is also no internal connection to the lower floors, so the
          audience of the fourth floor is completely isolated.



Q9. How long are the intermissions?

          Depending on the show, intermissions usually are about 15 to 30 minutes. At least one       
          intermission is 30 minutes long, enough to have lunch or dinner.
          People bring O-bento (boxed meals) or eat at the restaurants in the theater. 
                 (Booking at the restaurants is required before the show begins.)

  
              

Q10. Have you seen the programs you talk about in your lectures?
          I have seen the program at least once before I give a lecture about it.
          Fortunately, I have seen many Kabuki dramas and dances over time. 
          I surely haven't seen every Kabuki play that exists as there simply are too many.
          I  usually plan the dates of my tours after seeing a new program.

    

Q11.
What is the National Guide Cerfificate?

         The Guide-Interpreter Business Law (Law No. 210 of 1949) stipulates that only persons who
         have a National Guide Certification may work as guide-interpreters for a fee.



         My registration number is EN0245 issued by Governor of Tokyo Metropolis.



Q12.Why did you start this tour?
         Kabuki is a very fascinating performing arts.I have enjoyed Kabuki for many years!
         I love all peforming arts such as opera and musicals. I wish to share my many experiences
         and knowledge; to show guests a part of the Japan I love as a Japanese person.
 
         I want many people to enjoy Kabuki as I do, but I think pople can enjoy Kabuki more with
         some information before you rent the audio guide (ear phone guide).   


         Fortunately, I have already had many chances to take both Japanese and foreign friends to
         the Kabuki-za theatre. Everyone enjoyed Kabuki very much, whether it was their first time 
         or whether they already had seen Kabuki several times. 



         My profound experience in Kabuki and other stage arts helps other people to enjoy, and that
         my enthusiasm for this kind of art is infectuous.



         Sometimes you hear people say they don't like Kabuki. I believe that with some essential
         information about the art itself and the plays on performance, Kabuki becomes
         understandable and enjoyable. I am very happy to help with that, in finding and conveying
         the interesting points of Kabuki theater and its programs. 


         I would like to share the fascinating experience of Kabuki with as many other people as
         possible.  

Copyright © 2010 Kazui Yabe all rights reserved.