Entertainment

Top Choice Spectator Sport in Asakusa & Sumida River

Ryōgoku Kokugikan

If you’re in town when a tournament is on – for 15 days each January, May and September – catch the big boys in action at Japan’s largest sumo stadium. Doors open at 8am, but the action doesn’t heat up until the sen…
Top Choice Theatre in Ginza & Tsukiji

Kabukiza

The flamboyant facade of this venerable theatre makes a strong impression. It is a good indication of the extravagant dramatic flourishes that are integral to the traditional performing art of kabuki. Check the webs…
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, on Hanami-kōji, just south o…
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. If the theatre is still closed for renovation…
Top Choice Live Music in Yokohama

Kamome

The best place for serious live music, with a line-up that includes veteran and up-and-coming talents playing jazz, funk, fusion and bossa nova. The interior is stark and sophisticated, the crowd stylish and multige…
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 Theatre in Osaka

National Bunraku Theatre

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

Unit

This subterranean club stages live music and DJ-hosted events (sometimes on the same night). The solid line-up includes Japanese indie bands, veterans playing to a smaller crowd and overseas artists making their Jap…
Live Music in Downtown Kyoto

Taku-Taku

One of Kyoto’s most atmospheric live-music clubs, with a long history of hosting some great local and international acts. Check the Kyoto Visitor's Guide and flyers in local coffee shops for details on upcoming even…