You may imagine that rakugo is just a comic storytelling which is similar to stand-up comedy in the Western world, but just that rakugo is perform while kneeling on a cushion. However, rakugo is much more sophisticated form of performing art because it needs performers to be apprenticed to a master and learn the skills and spirit of rakugo for several years. The rakugo originate from Otogisyu, people who serve their warlords to give the news around the world and also during a small talk in Aduchi Momoyama period.
Rakugo stage is on has a small table and a cushion on which a rakugoka, a rakugo performer, sits down. The rakugoka uses only a fan and handkerchief to express every single prop of the story. But they use their creativity and skills to make handkerchief look like chopsticks, tobacco, pen and so on. They play many characters in a story by using gestures, changing tone of their voices and facial expressions. Why don’t you join yose, the rakugo show, and enjoy this fantastic and humorous storytelling?
The tickets for yose usually cost JPY 2,000 (USD $16.51) to JPY 3,000 (USD $24.77). It is common to purchase the tickets on the performance day (the entrance fee is called Kidosen), but you can book your tickets in advance, if you intend to go to watch National Engei Hall in Tokyo and Tenma Hanjo Tei in Osaka. There are normally two shows a day, one is from 12pm to 4pm and one from 5pm to 9pm. Once you pay the fee, it’s all up to you if you will stay till the end of the show or leave earlier.
Here are theaters that you can go to see yose. They hold yose almost every day, so you can just drop by the theatre and enjoy rakugo casually.
Online reservation available
【Name】National Engei Hall
【Adress】4-1, Hayabusa Cho, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo 102-8656
【Price】JPY2,100 (USD 17.34)
【Online Reservation】http://ticket.ntj.jac.go.jp/ (tickets can be booked 1 month beforehand)
【Name】Tenma Tenjin Hanjo Tei
【Adress】2-1-34, Tenjinbashi, Kita Ward, Osaka City, Osaka
【Show】from 10am, from 1pm, from 6:30pm
【Price】from JPY 1,500 (USD 12.38)
(tickets can be booked 2 months beforehand)
Tickets are only sold at the doors
【Name】Asakusa Engei Hall
【Adress】1-43-12, Asakusa, Daito Ward, Tokyo 111-0032
【Show】from 11:40am, from 16:40pm
【Price】JPY 2,800 (USD 23.12)
【Name】Ikebukuro Engei Theater
【Adress】1-23-1, Nhishiikebukuro, Toyoshima Ward, Tokyo 171-0021
【Show】from 12:30pm, from 5pm
【Price】from JPY 2,000 (USD 16.51)
【Name】Shinjuku Suehiro Tei
【Adress】3-6-12, Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo 160-0022
【Show】from 12pm, from 5pm
【Price】JPY 3,000 (USD 24.77)
【Name】Suzumoto Engei Hall
【Adress】2-7-12, Ueno, Daito Ward, Tokyo 110-0005
【Show】from 12:30pm, from 5:30pm
【Price】JPY 2,800 (USD 23.12)
How to enjoy
Two types of rakugo
There are two types of rakugo, Kamigata rakugo, which developed since Edo era is common in Osaka and Tokyo rakugo. In Kamigata rakugo, performers talk and act vigorously while Tokyo rakugo performers talk in a calmer and elegant way. Let’s check out both types of Rakugo and find out which type of Rakugo suits to your liking!
The show is never the same!
Every time you come to the theater, you will be able to experience, a new, unique talk, even when the same performers give talks. This is because the performers choose different stories by examining the audience and the atmosphere of the theater. They decide what story they are going to talk right on the stage while giving a small talk called makura (prelude)!
You don’t understand the story? Never mind!
It might be difficult for foreign tourists to understand the whole stories because of language barrier. However, rakugo stories are normally based on the daily life of ordinary people, so there are many things that people from all over the world will find to be funny in common. Audience can enjoy the joke regardless of culture and language barrier and even learn Japanese joke. Also you can still enjoy and laugh by watching the performers’ action. Let’s guess what the performer is pretending to be, or what he is trying to express with the fan and handkerchief!
We arrange tickets on your behalf!
Nozomi Co. Ltd. arranges tickets of various events held in all over Japan on your behalf. It only takes 3 minutes to make a request! It’s Fast・Easy・Convenient, so please use our service.
When making purchasing request to our company, we charge JPY 2000 per ticket as a service fee. Upon making purchasing request, please pay “ticket price + service fee”. If you wished the ticket to be delivered via mail, delivery fee must be paid as well. (Example) Ticket Fee Price x number + JPY 2000 Service Fee + Delivery Fee (We are using Japan Post’s EMS. For the price chart, please click here).
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