National Theatre to reopen in 2029 with new look

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The National Theatre is seen in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Friday.

The Japan Arts Council, the independent administrative agency that operates the National Theatre in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, announced Friday an outline of its redevelopment plan for the theater’s reconstruction.

After closing at the end of October 2023, four buildings (Large and Small Theatres, the National Engei Hall, the office building, and the Traditional Performing Arts Information Centre) will all be demolished and replaced with a private finance initiative (PFI) to create a facility that will include a hotel and restaurants under private management, in addition to the theater. The theater is expected to reopen in the fall of 2029.

The theater is a center for traditional Japanese performing arts, where Kabuki, Bunraku, and Japanese dance are performed. It has been 55 years since its opening in 1966, and has become decrepit.

Junko Kawamura, president of the Japan Arts Council, said at a press conference, “Traditional performing arts have been handed down from person to person, connecting people to people. Based on the accumulation of the first National Theatre, we aim to create traditional performing arts and connect them to the future.”