The largest Yose in Tokyo, established in 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics
Asakusa Engei Hall is located in an area of Asakusa called “Koen Roku-ku,” which still retains the atmosphere of a Showa-era entertainment district. It is a five-minute walk from Kaminarimon Dori, where The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon is located, past Sushiya Dori.
Asakusa Engei Hall was established in 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics, and is one of Tokyo’s rakugo theaters along with Suzumoto Engei Hall (Ueno), Shinjuku Suehirotei, and Ikebukuro Engei Hall. A rakugo teiseki is a theater where rakugo performances are held 365 days a year without a break and is also called a yose.
What kind of place is a Yose?
A yose is generally thought of as a theater for enjoying rakugo, but in addition to rakugo, you can also enjoy a wide variety of other performances such as manzai, magic, and acrobatics. Each month, the content of the performance changes every 10 days from “Kamiseki,” “Nakaseki,” and “Shimaseki,” with a different storyteller or comedian performing during the daytime (11:40-16:30) and nighttime (16:40-20:30) sessions.
A snack store sells snacks and beverages, and food and drink and are available during the performance, making this an entertainment experience that can be enjoyed throughout the day. Tickets are available on the day of the show only, and reservations are not required. Simply purchase a ticket at the kido at the entrance and sit in the seat of your choice. The performance schedule is also available online, so you can enter and leave during the performance you are interested in (please note, however, that you cannot re-enter after leaving).
When the buzzer rings and the curtain rises, the performance begins with the star performer. When I visited, it was a young comical storyteller. Even though he was young, he was still a professional storyteller, and I was quickly drawn into the world of rakugo. The warm laugh and applause from the audience warmed my heart.
It is a very luxurious way to spend time, forgetting your busy life for a moment and laughing your heart out at rakugo and manzai. Consider Asakusa Engei Hall as one of the reasons to visit Asakusa!
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