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…
Jazz in Kōbe


Kōbe's go-to spot for jazz brings in Japanese and international performers, usually with four different acts nightly, and pub-style food and drink. Cover charges can vary, but the Sunday afternoon special snags you …
Baseball in Osaka

Kyōcera Dome

Also known as Osaka Dome, this futuristic stadium is home to the Orix Buffaloes baseball team. While the Buffaloes may not have the following of the mighty Hanshin Tigers, who play nearby in Kōbe (except for games i…
Live Music in Osaka


Looking like an office with the inner walls ripped out (which is entirely likely), Hokage is a fitting venue for the rock, punk and noise bands that play here. It's a small space, where the band might take up half t…
Spectator Sport in Osaka

Sumo Spring Tournament

The big fellas rumble into Osaka in March for this major tournament, held in the Prefectural Gymnasium (府立体育会館, Fu-ritsu Taiiku-kan) in Namba. Tickets (from ¥3800) go on sale in early February and can be purchased o…
Theatre in Osaka

Osaka Nōgaku Hall

A five-minute walk east of Hankyū Umeda Station, this theatre stages nō (stylised dance-drama) performances a few times each month. Look for the relief of a nō actor holding a fan on the facade. You'll need a Japane…
Theatre in Osaka

Osaka Shochiku-za

This neo-Renaissance building (1923), modelled after Milan's La Scala, was the first Western-style theatre built in Kansai. It occasionally hosts kabuki performances, though unfortunately the earphone guide with sim…
Theatre in Osaka

Shin-Kabuki-za Theatre

Inside a shopping mall this theatre – despite the word kabuki in the name – shows mostly comedy and period dramas (in Japanese).