Yachiyoza Theater

Yachiyoza, the small town theater with a big performing arts history Learn about the ups and downs of Japan’s theatrical history at Yachiyoza Rising from the ashes, how a grassroots campaign reinvigorated Kumamoto’s theatre scene Immerse yourself in the history of Japan’s theatre scene at Yachiyoza Theatre

Yachiyoza Theater

If you find yourself exploring the streets of Yamaga, a small city in Kumamoto there’s a good chance you’ll stumble across Yachiyoza Theater, a stunning and historic theatre that hosts a wide range of performances to this day. If you have an interested in Japanese culture and the arts, this is one place you can’t miss when travelling through Kumamoto Prefecture.

Yachiyoza Theater

Originally built in 1910, the theatre was created during a time in which Yamaga city was going through a period of great prosperity as a bustling center of commerce and innovative industry, and a popular hot spring destination. Founded with the help of the Yamaga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the theatre was created for two main reasons, as a place for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to take their clients, and to embrace the growing popularity of the performing arts and culture, which was taking hold throughout the city and neighboring areas.

Yachiyoza Theater

Yachiyoza officially opened in 1911 with a kabuki performance. Over the following years the theatre’s popularity grew exponentially, and the space went on the host a variety of different types of entertainment including film screenings and live music. In 1970 however it did shut down due to a decline in business, but in the following decade a local grassroots movement reinvigorated interest in the theatre, and today it stands as a proud Yamaga icon and a favorite local destination for theatre lovers across the prefecture.

Yachiyoza Theater

You can visit the theatre for a small fee, and tour the building by yourself, or join one of the theatre’s regular Japanese language tours (don’t worry there’s an English handout provided). Be sure to put aside some time to explore behind the curtains scenes, under the rotating stage, and sit in the masuseki seating (four person tatami box seats) to fully immerse yourself in authentic atmosphere of this historic space.

Yachiyoza Theater

Opposite the theatre is the Yumekogura Museum. Hosted inside a converted warehouse that was originally constructed in 1887, the museum displays over 150 items that have been used in Yachiyoza, covering all facets of the performing arts including flyers, posters, film projectors masks, a miniature model of the theatre and other paraphernalia.

Yachiyoza Theater

The best way to get to the theatre via public transport is by getting the train to JR Kumamoto Station, from there you can catch the Sanko bus heading towards Yamada Onsen, then get off at the Hot Spring Plaza stop (温泉プラザ前) from there it’s just a short walk. If you’re travelling by car, you can get to the site via the Kyushu Expressway, there’s free parking available nearby.

Facility Name
Yachiyoza
Address
Kumamoto Pref. Yamagashi Yamaga 1499
Phone
0968444004
Hours
9:00-18:00 (last reception 17:30)
Closed
2ndWednesday, 12/29-1/1
Fees
[Visiting fee] Adults 520 yen, Elementary and Junior High School Students 260 yyen
Parking Lot
Available
Credit Card
Not available
Introduction
Yachioyaza, one of Japan’s Important Cultural Properties, is a playhouse built in 1910. Since opening they have put on a variety of shows, but with the changing era the number of visitors fell and the place closed. However, thanks to the ardent fund-raising activities of groups both old and young, restoration took place over 30 years and it is now a working playhouse again. It is also possible to take a look behind the scenes of the theater, from the revolving stage to the theater basement.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Kanri Museum Yumeshozo
Address
Kumamoto Pref. Yamagashi Yamaga 1499
Phone
0968444004
Business hours
9-17
Regular holiday
The second Wednesday
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Kumamoto
Address
Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshinishiku Kasuga 3-chome
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Kanri Museum Yumeshozo

    Fun/Leisure/Hobby
    Kumamoto Pref. Yamagashi Yamaga 1499
  • dummy image

    Kumamoto

    Transportation
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshinishiku Kasuga 3-chome
  • Yachiyoza image

    Yachiyoza

    Travel/Sightseeing
    Kumamoto Pref. Yamagashi Yamaga 1499
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