Have you ever wanted to see some of the most famous traditional Japanese arts? If you stay in Kyoto you have the possibility to see seven kinds of performing arts in front of your own eyes within only one hour - at Gion Corner, a unique theater.
Because all the performances are explained in Japanese and English, Gion Corner is recommended especially for visitors from foreign countries. Because of being popular with the international crowd, there are handouts in a lot of different languages available (for example English, German, French, Chinese and Korean). The show takes place every day in the evening. For more information about time, place and prices please look at the official website.
Tea ceremony: The tradition of steeping and serving tea is very old. At Gion Corner the “ryurei” style of the tea ceremony is performed in front of the audience. Two people have the chance to taste the fresh made tea.
Koto music: Koto is an ancient Japanese instrument which came to Japan 1300 years ago. Two players will show you the method of playing and give you the chance to hear the sound of this unique instrument with your own ears.
Ikebana: This is the art of making beautiful arrangements of flowers and other materials. A new flower arrangement will be made at the stage.
Gagaku Court Music: Gagaku is the oldest classical music in Japan and was normally performed at the imperial court, shrines and temples. It includes Japanese music and dance with impressive armor.
Kyogen Theatre: This kind of theatre play was earlier presented as an interlude at the Noh theatre and is spoken in colloquial language. Even if you can’t understand Japanese you can follow the story of the funny play.
Kyomai Dance: The Japanese dance represents the human feelings with specific dancing moves. The kyo-mai is the Kyoto style dance performed by maikos wearing beautiful kimono and featuring a gorgeous spectacle.
Bunraku Puppet Theater: Last part of the show at Gion corner is bunraku. This is a popular form of entertainment for the folk and was especially maintained in Kyoto. The play shown is called “Date Musume Koi no Higanoko” (伊達娘恋緋鹿子) and tells the story of a girl in edo period who tries to rescue her lover who is to be executed.
Edited by Achim Runnebaum