By Daniel Vesey
Though popular, Noh's seemingly impenetrable facade can sometimes be appear as an obstacle for visitors. But it needn't be, as going to see a play at Tokyo's National Noh Theatre is quite easy. And while you can turn up at the box office to buy your tickets, here's how to book your seats online.
What you need
You'll need to be a member of the National Theatre of Japan (NTJ) to purchase tickets online. Fortunately registration and the annual membership is free. Once you've registered here (click on NTJ Member and then Membership Registration) an account activation email will be sent to you.
Choose performance and seat
Now that you're a member, go the National Noh Theatre website and follow the Buy Tickets link. (The NTJ Member link only offers account details and history.) First timers may find the site a little fiddly so take your time.
Choose the type and date of performance you are interested in (other theatrical arts besides Noh may also be available). You'll then be offered a choice of available seating blocks. Once a block is chosen, available seats will then be offered.
Decide then how you would like to pay and where you would like to pick up your ticket. Tickets picked up from the box office ticket machine are ready 3 days after purchase. If you have your ticket delivered to your address in Japan, a JPY620 service charge will be added. Tickets themselves start from JPY2700 for a seat in the back row.
Designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Noh is one of Japan's most cherished cultural treasures. Securing your seat is just the first step in exploring this most enigmatic of arts.
The theatre is a 5-minute walk from Sendagaya station on the JR Chuo or Sobu lines, or Kokuritsu-Kyogjjo station's A4 Exit on the Toei Oedo Line. From Kita-Sando station's Exit 1 on the Fukutoshin Line, it's a 7-minute walk.
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