Music, theatre & dance

The Japanese are highly committed to preserving their traditional arts, and it is thanks to this fact that you can still see, hear and participate in all kinds of music, theatre and dance today.

Take a lesson in taiko drumming on Sado Island; watch the spring geisha dances in Kyoto; attend Awa Odori, the largest traditional dance festival in Japan; enjoy a scene of Kabuki at Tokyo's newly restored theatre; or eat your dinner to the sound of the three-stringed shamisen. Japan's traditional performing arts are alive and well in the modern age, and there are all kinds of ways that you can watch and learn about them through InsideJapan Tours.

If you're interested in something more modern, Japan's contemporary music, dance and theatre scene is also extremely exciting. Japan's pop music market is the second-largest in the world (a staggering 44 of the world's 50 top-selling albums last year were Japanese!), avant-garde theatre groups such as the Takarazuka Revue are flourishing, and dance crazes such as para para sweep through the youth population so that every evening you can find groups of teenager practising their moves in parks and squares.

There are all kinds of ways to get involved in Japan's performing arts - whether as a spectator or a participant. Just have a look below for a few ideas!

  • Sado Island drumming

    Learn the techniques and rhythms of taiko drumming from a former member of the world renowned Kodo Drummers of Sado Island.

    Read more >

  • Fuji Rock

    One of the world's best music festivals in a stunning mountain setting, Fuji Rock Festival is like no other festival you've been to before

    Read more >

  • Summer Sonic

    All the fun of a music festival minus the portaloos and camping. Just remember the way back to your hotel instead of your tent.

    Read more >

  • Bunraku

    See this classic form of puppet theatre at the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka

    Read more >

  • Noh

    A subtle blend of music, dance and drama dating back to the 14th century

    Read more >

  • Kabuki

    Attend a Kabuki performance to see outlandish costumes, dramatic stunts, high speed action and great story telling.

    Read more >

  • Takarazuka Revue

    A Japanese all-female musical revue; enough feather boas and sparkles to please even the most reluctant theatre goer.

    Read more >