Awaji Puppet Theater
- Awaji Ningyo Joruri
- Awaji Puppet Theater Company
- Access & Information
- Area Map
- Japan Museums
Awaji Puppet Theater (Awaji Ningyoza; 淡路人形座)
Awaji Puppet Theater in Minamiawaji where you can see daily performances of Awaji Ningyo Joruri
The workings of the complex puppet heads of Awaji puppets on display in the foyer of the Awaji Puppet Museum
Awaji Ningyo Joruri
Known as Awaji Ningyo Joruri, the puppet theater on Awaji featured puppets that had larger heads and puppet bodies than in the rest of the country.
Awaji Ningyo Joruri continued to be performed on the island into the twentieth century, but by mid century was in danger of dieing out due to the increase of more modern forms of entertainment like movies and radio.
Seating 180 people, The Awaji Puppet Theater on Awaji Island puts on daily public performances
Awaji Puppet Theater Company
In 1969 the Awaji Puppet Theater Company was formed to keep the tradition alive, and since 2012 have been giving public performances daily in the purpose-built Puppet Theater in Fukura.
The current troupe consists of 18 members, 9 male, and 9 female. Each puppet is operated by three different puppeteers who are on stage with the puppet.
Accompanying them are a chanter/narrator, and a shamisen player. The repertoire consists of about a dozen different stories, each performance of which runs about 45 minutes. Whichever play is being performed, non-Japanese visitors will be given a printout in English explaining the story.
Following the performance you can meet the puppeteers and have your photo taken with them and the puppets.
After the performance cast members explain about the story and puppets; photos can now be taken
Across from the Awaji Puppet Theater is a small Tourist Information Office
Access & Information
Tel: 0799 52 0260
Performances take place 4 times a day, at 10 am, 11.10 am, 1.30 pm and 3 pm. Closed on Wednesdays and over the New Year.
1,500 yen for adults
There is a small exhibition of materials in the entrance to the theater, but 20 kilometers away in the Awajishima Museum in Sumoto are many more displays about Awaji Ningyo Joruri.
Here you can find the Tokushima Puppet Theater & Museum who also put on performances.
Across the road from the Theater is the Fukura Michi no Eki.
Here you can take a cruise and view the nearby Naruto Whirlpools.
There is also a small Tourist Information Office that also rents bicycles. Just outside is a free footbath for soaking your feet.
Located at the southern tip of Awaji Island, it is less than 40 km by car from Tokushima, and 80 km from Kobe across the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.
By bus the closest stop for long distance buses is 1 km away at the Awajishima Minami Interchange, 50 mins from Tokushima, or 1 hour from Maiko.
By car from Honshu it is 15 minutes from the Seidan Mihara Interchange on Awaji. Coming from Shikoku exit at the Awajishima Minami Interchange.
Getting To Awaji
The ferry from Akashi docks at Iwaya Port in the north of the island. From here buses connect with most places of interest.
From the piers next to the Awaji Puppet Theater cruise boats leave for tours of the Naruto Whirlpools
Accommodation in Awaji
In addition to the luxury The Westin Resort & Conference Center Awaji Island, Awaji city has good options including the Athena Kaigetsu, which is handy for the Awaji World Park Onokoro. Further south on the east coast at Sumoto are the Kaigetsukan, the Yumekaiyu, the Umi no Hotel Shimahana, the two star Awaji TT House Pacific Over Seas and the Hotel New Awaji. On the west coast are the Awaji Hamarikyu and Pension Le Mer. There are also a number of campsites on the island for the budget traveler.
Nearby Places of Interest
Akashi Castle - built in 1619 to protect the approach to Osaka from the west.
Shimanami Kaido - 60 kilometer expressway that links the main island of Honshu with the island of Shikoku.
Maiko Park - a pleasant park with views of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and some historic residences.
World Peace Giant Kannon - once one of the largest statues in the world it is now virtually abandoned.
Yumebutai - designed by Tadao Ando includes a resort hotel, a conference center, a wedding chapel, an open air theater and a botanical museum.
Honpukuji - aka the Water Temple by Tadao Ando.
Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park - museum dedicated to the Great Hanshin Earthquake.
Izanagi Jingu & Onokorojima Shrine - two important shrines connected with Japan's creation myth.
Book Hotel Accommodation in Kobe Japan
The Awaji Puppet Theater has daily performances of Awaji Ningyo Joruri in a custom built theater with museum dedicated to this form of puppetry.