Japan entertainment

Top Choice Spectator Sport in Asakusa & Sumida River

Ryōgoku Kokugikan

If you’re in town when a tournament is on, don't miss the chance to catch the big boys of Japanese wrestling in action at the country's largest sumo stadium. The key spectacle is around 3.45pm when the makuuchi (top…
Top Choice Theatre in Ginza & Tsukiji

Kabukiza

The flamboyant facade of this venerable theatre is fitting for the extravagant dramatic flourishes that are integral to the traditional performing art of kabuki. Check the website for performance details and to book…
Top Choice Baseball in Kōrakuen & Akihabara

Tokyo Dome

Tokyo Dome (aka ‘Big Egg’) is home to the Yomiuri Giants. Love ’em or hate ’em, they're the most consistently successful team in Japanese baseball. If you’re looking to see the Giants in action, the baseball season …
Top Choice Jazz in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Shinjuku Pit Inn

This is Tokyo's best jazz spot: intimate, unpretentious and with an always solid line-up of influential, avant-garde, crossover and up-and-coming musicians from Japan and abroad. If you're already a fan of jazz, you…
Top Choice Dance in Southern Higashiyama

Miyako Odori

This 45-minute dance is a wonderful geisha performance. It’s a real stunner and the colourful images are mesmerising. It’s held throughout April, usually at Gion Kōbu Kaburen-jō Theatre. The building is under ongoin…
Top Choice Live Music in Osaka

Namba Bears

For going on three decades this has been the place to hear underground music live in Osaka. It's a small, bare-concrete, smokey space – well suited to the punk, rock and indie bands that play here. In keeping with t…
Top Choice Theatre in Southern Higashiyama

Minami-za

This theatre in Gion is the oldest kabuki theatre in Japan. The major event of the year is the Kaomise festival in December, which features Japan’s finest kabuki actors.
Top Choice Theatre in Osaka

National Bunraku Theatre

The classical performing art most associated with Osaka is bunraku, which makes dramatic use of highly sophisticated puppets. Visiting the theatre is a half-day event: shows, which include scenes from different play…
Top Choice Live Music in Ebisu, Meguro & Around

Unit

This subterranean club stages live music and DJ-hosted events (sometimes staggered on the same night). The solid line-up includes Japanese indie bands, veterans playing to a smaller crowd and overseas artists making…
Top Choice Live Music in Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa

WWW

In a former art-house cinema with the tell-tale tiered floor still intact, this is one of those rare venues where you could turn up just about any night and hear something good. The line-up varies from indie pop to …