Enjoy Nohgaku by Destination

Rediscover Japan through Noh theater.
Take an online tour of famous sites through the seasons, selected by season.

新潟・佐渡 大膳神社

Sado Island
Daizen Shrine

奈良・吉野 金峯山寺蔵王堂

Kinpusenji Temple

岩手・平泉 中尊寺白山神社

Chusonji Temple

Journey through Nohgaku in Special Videos

Sado Island



Enjoy Nohgaku through Music


Noh "Hashitomi"

The setting



When a monk makes an offering of offertory flowers, a beautiful woman appears from the shadow of a white bottle gourd flower...
This is a story of devoted love, based on the Tale of Genji.


Kyogen "Sadogitsune"

The setting

Sado Island, Niigata, and Kyoto


On the road to Kyoto to pay their land taxes, peasants from Sado and Echigo place bets on whether or not there are foxes on Sado Island. This is a Kyogen (comedic Noh play) featuring human drama and bargaining over a bribe.


Noh "Kuzu"

The setting



When Emperor Tenmu escapes to the mountains of Yoshino and rests in solitude, an old couple living in the house he resides in return by riverboat.
A performance full of highlights created against the backdrop of the greatest civil war in ancient times,The Jinshin War.


Noh "Yoshino Shizuka"

The setting



Minamoto no Yoshitsune descends from Mount Yoshino. In order to put an end to his pursuit, Shizuka Gozen and her vassal, Tadanobu Sato, devise a plan. A glamorous work with beautiful dancing.

About Journey through Nohgaku


"Journey through Nohgaku" was inspired by the idea of rediscovering Japan through Noh theater.

This is a new attempt at showing the appeal of Noh from the different angles of the seasons, nature, and history, with "journey" as the keyword.

"The journey begins at the Noh theater in each location. We will introduce you to performances associated with the land, defended by many throughout its storied history."

At the same time, we will guide you through the seasonal charms of the region and famous sites related to Nohgaku, allowing you to deepen your understanding.

We hope that as you journey through the rich history of Nohgaku, you will be inspired to take a trip to the actual sites associated with it, or to see a Nohgaku performance for yourself.

Why Nohgaku is Loved Throughout Japan


Nohgaku is one of Japan's representative performing arts, having been performed and handed down from generation to generation for nearly 700 years since the Muromachi era (1336 to 1573).

It has been passed down from parents to children, from children to grandchildren. It has also been passed down unceasingly from master to disciple, but its existence has been at risk countless times.

After the Meiji Restoration of imperial power in 1868, Nohgaku saw a temporary decline because it was no longer part of the ceremonial music (entertainment for official occasions) of the Edo shogunate's court. However, propelled by cultural developments, the new era saw a re-evaluation of Nohgaku. This era also saw the rise of the Nohgaku theater, where the traditional Noh stage was enclosed within a building.

Nohgaku theaters were greatly damaged by fire, etc. during the war, but thanks to the tireless efforts of masters and young people alike, and the support of many, Nohgaku can now be enjoyed nationwide.

Today, Nohgaku is highly acclaimed even from overseas, and there are many performances and lectures to encourage interest in it at Noh theaters throughout the country.

Nohgaku has been passed down as a unique performing art because it incorporates various aspects of Japanese culture and the essence of humanity, and has been loved and valued for generations.

20 years have passed since UNESCO declared Nohgaku an Intangible Cultural Property in 2001. Nohgaku will continue to carve out a rich history going forward.

Now it's time to begin your Journey through Nohgaku.

A 2021 Japan Cultural Expo Sponsored/Co-sponsored Project
Sponsored by the Nohgaku Performer's Association, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and the Japan Arts Council