Kyoto Shijo Minami za – 京都四條南座

The Minamiza is the premier kabuki theater in Kyoto as has made its home in an impressive building at the corner of Kawabata-dori and Shijo-dori in the Gion district. Kabuki is one of the best known forms of Japanese theater and offers an authentic insight into the local culture.

Visitors are highly recommended to see a show here, although performances can last for several hours, so perhaps just a few acts would be enough to get a flavor of this theatrical style. Spectators are given an audio description to let them know what is happening in the dialogue, however even without it, the performance is visually spectacular and highly engaging.

The Minamiza theater is the oldest kabuki theater in the country, and is home to the Kaomise festival which is held during December and which is attended by the nation’s finest kabuki actors.

Founded back in 1610, the current theater building was constructed a lot more recently in 1929 copying the architectural style used during the Momoyama period. The interior was refurbished in 1991 with modern stage mechanisms being installed. The Minami-za has been a registered Japanese Tangible Cultural Property since 1996 in respect to its architectural historical value to the city.