Do you know that Japan has countless fascinating World Heritage Sites?
There are many recommended World Heritage Sites to visit, such as castles or shrines, temples, and natural sites. You may have already seen some of these sites on TV or on the internet. If you are planning to enjoy your time by simply visiting such sites, walking around them and looking at them, we recommend to set your plan aside for a moment and finish reading this article first.
We’d like to introduce the new, unusual on a global scale, ways of enjoying World Heritage Sites.
World Heritage Sites are tangible cultural properties that have been existing from old times to nowadays, which can also be identified as “the bodies.” However, to fully enjoy them it is also necessary to know about intangible cultural assets of traditional performing arts that have been continually passed on from people to people, or in other words “the spirit”. For example, “Kabuki”.
It is a Japanese traditional style of theatrical performance with a history of over 400 years, that was registered by UNESCO as a type of intangible cultural heritage. Even without understanding the speech, the scenes performed with unique make-up and in gaudy costumes fascinate the audience with their astonishing intensity. However, seeing traditional performances as well as visiting World Heritage Sites on a tight schedule can be quite difficult. Therefore, we’d like to recommend you “World Heritage Theater” events, where you can enjoy both World Heritage and traditional performances simultaneously.
“World Heritage Theater” is an art project which utilises the World Heritage Sites as the theater stages and further boosts the value of the World Heritage by combining “the bodies” of historical structures and such with “the spirit” of performing arts and the like which had been continually passed on from person to person.
World Heritage Theater offers limited night live shows by top grade domestic performers at the World Heritage Sites.
One place to go is Nikko Toshogu Shrine, also popular among the foreign tourists. In the evening, when normally all the tourists have already left, the five-storied pagoda gets beautifully lit up. Suddenly traditional Japanese music starts playing out of nowhere and you realise that you are standing in front of Toshogu Shrine which has become completely different from that in the daytime.
Seeing the traditional Japanese performing art such as Kabuki in these magical lights, even without knowing much about Japanese culture, it will touch your heart, excite you, and provide the extraordinary foreign country experience that you will never forget.
*Depending on the event, the performances may be spanned over 2 days.
Apart from traditional performing arts, World Heritage Theater also organises music concerts of the modern popular singers, and is further progressing with the aim to combine world heritage with art.
If you are interested, make sure to check the provided schedule of the future events. And, of course, you can check it on the event homepage as well.
DAY：October 10 2015 / October 11 2015
MISIA is an amazingly skillful singer popular among people of various ages in Japan.
DAY：October 10 2015 / October 11 2015
Ebizo Ichikawa is an extremely popular Kabuki actor in Japan. Even though he is a performer of traditional Japanese theatrical art, he is very proactive when it comes to new unconventional activities.
DAY：October 10, 2015
May J. is a young singer who is rapidly gaining popularity among the youth.
If you simply visit, walk and look around, you won’t be able to see beyond the surface of Japanese culture. Since you have finally travelled so far to Japan, why not try to learn the essence of Japanese culture by experiencing both the tangible and the intangible world heritage at the same time and enjoy the World Heritage in a new way?
Reference: World Heritage Theater website
Traditional Japanese Dance–Drama Kabuki: Types and Elements