Built in Kotohira in 1835, Kanamaruza Theater (金丸座) is Japan's oldest surviving, complete kabuki playhouse. From time to time, it still stages kabuki performances.
When no shows are held, the theater is open to visitors who can explore Kanamaruza's audience hall, stage, and dressing rooms. Be sure to check out the basement to see the workings of the human powered rotating stage and trapdoors used by actors to dramatically enter and exit performances.
Uchiko-za, a similar historical kabuki theater, can be found in Uchiko in nearby Ehime Prefecture.
Audience area of Kanamaruza
Beneath the rotating stage
Kanamaruza Theater is located about a 10 to 15 minute walk from JR Kotohira and Kotoden Kotohira Stations, and about 200 meters off the approach to Kompirasan Shrine.
How to get to and around Kotohira