Oct 14th
Oct 15th
Photo: The Ohtsuki Noh Theatre Foundation
- 4 min read

Spectacular Takigi Noh in Shitennoji

The latest technology meets age-old traditions

Venue: Shitennoji Temple When: Oct 14th - Oct 15th 2023

Experience Noh like never before.

Organized by The Ohtsuki Noh Theatre Foundation, “Spectacular Takigi Noh in Shitennoji” is a two-day event in which Noh, the world’s oldest active theater tradition, is combined with projection mapping to create a one-of-a-kind and immersive viewing experience. Takigi Noh, specifically, refers to Noh that is performed on a temporary outdoor stage encircled by firelight.

The venue

Photo: The Ohtsuki Noh Theatre Foundation

The show’s venue, Shitennoji, was founded in 593 and is Japan's oldest officially administered temple built by Prince Shotoku. This semi-legendary prince is an important figure in Japanese history and a key player in the event’s Noh performances, making the setting not only visually stunning, but also historically relevant. For this event, the show will be held in the Chushin Garan (inner precinct) in front of the temple’s Five-storied Pagoda and Golden Pavilion, both of which will be illuminated by dazzling projection mappings.

Program schedule

“Spectacular Takigi Noh in Shitennoji” will be held from 6:30pm–8:40pm (venue opens at 5:30pm) on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15. Both days will follow the same schedule, but will end with different performances. So, please keep this fact in mind when you select which day you would like to attend.

  • Shitennoji Buddhist service (30 minutes)
  • Original performance of new production “Kiriaoi” (60 minutes)
  • Tennoji Bugaku “Somakusha” (20 minutes)
  • Half-Noh “Shakkyo” (only Saturday, Oct 14) (20 minutes)
  • Half-Noh “Tsuchigumo” (only Sunday, Oct 15) (20 minutes)

The performances

Photo: The Ohtsuki Noh Theatre Foundation

Original performance of new production “Kiriaoi”

Watch a mesmerizing performance where the battle between right and wrong takes center stage. In the early seventh century, Prince Shotoku created the Seventeen-Article Constitution to guide the morality of government officials and the emperor's subjects. Will leaders Hideyoshi and Ieyasu honor this constitution? Watch to find out! This show is a revival of a new Noh play written by Motohiko Izawa.

Tennoji Bugaku “Somakusha”

Tennoji Bugaku is a traditional performing art that has been practiced at Shitennoji for more than 1,000 years. This historical dance and music performance is an offshoot of gigaku, which was a form of drama and dance introduced to Japan from continental Asia and adopted by Prince Shotoku as a means to perform Buddhist music. Admire this cherished, millennium-old display.

Half-Noh “Shakkyo”

This performance is set on a long, moss-covered bridge over Mount Seiryo in China—a place where high priests train for ultimate enlightenment. Here, sacred lions perform a vigorous dance and frolic in the face of human impossibility.

Half-Noh “Tsuchigumo”

This show centers on an indigenous tribe, called the Kumo-zoku (kumo meaning spider in Japanese), that have been defeated by the Yamato Imperial Court. However, the Kumo-zoku plan to regain power and attack the imperial court. What will happen? Watch the captivating web the spiders weave and find out!

Admission details

Photo: The Ohtsuki Noh Theatre Foundation

Please note that you must purchase reserved seating to watch the performances. Same day tickets are available for an additional ¥1,000, and you can cancel tickets up to 24 hours before the show for a full refund. Prices include tax.

S seat ¥10,000
A seat ¥7,500
B seat ¥5,000

Purchase tickets online at this ticketing link, or call the Ohtsuki Noh Theatre Admin Office at 06-6761-8055 from 11am–4pm.

Important notes

  • Audio and video recording and photography are strictly prohibited
  • Tickets include an audio guide via your smartphone in English and Japanese. So, please bring your own earphones to use this service.

Additional events

In addition to the main event on October 14 and 15, Shitennoji will also play host to a number of cultural events. Please see below for details.

Special Exhibition: “The World of Noh and Bugaku”

This exhibit will feature Bugaku costumes and masks from Shitennoji's collections, as well as Noh costumes and masks owned by Ohtsuki Noh Theatre.

  • Venue: Gokuraku-jodo Garden, Shitennoji
  • Dates: October 9-15
  • Times: 8:30am–4pm (entry until 3:45pm)
  • Admission: ¥1,000 (includes entry into the garden)

Tea Stall

Take a moment to recharge with a selection of tea (matcha or sencha) and sweets (mini cake or mini warabi mochi) on offer.

  • Participating Shop: Shitennoji Chaya (official site)
  • Dates: October 10-15
  • Times: 10am–4pm
  • Admission: ¥500

Shitennoji Watsuka Market

In celebration of the Takigi Noh performance, Shitennoji will hold its special monthly flea market with erhu (Chinese fiddle), violin, and street performances.

  • Venue: Nishijumon Square, Shitennoji
  • Dates: October 14-15
  • Times: 10am–6pm
  • Admission: free entry, but you can purchase food and drinks (with cash) at a variety of vendors

Getting there

Shitennoji is located in Osaka City and accessible via a number of train stations and lines.

  • 10 to 12-minute walk from Tennoji Station on the JR Osaka Loop Line, and Osaka Metro Midosuji & Tanimachi Line
  • 3 to 5-minute walk from Shitennojimae-Yuhigaoka Station on the Osaka Metro Tanimachi Line
  • 15-minute walk from Abenobashi Station on the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka Line

More info

Find out more about Shitennoji Temple.

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Join the discussion

Yammer Smiths 4 months ago
This was cool to think about and I hope that the temple that we are seeing will be good to keep seeing. I feel like there are some traditions that we are seeing and I am glad that there are some stages that we can keep seeing and I feel like the firelights that we are seeing which is good to think about over there.
Sébastien Duval 5 months ago
Fascinating mix of traditions & technology! I'd love to attend this unique Noh theatre event but will be on a business trip…