If you have had the opportunity to experience Hiroshima Kagura at one of the regular performances held in Hiroshima City or online during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a good chance that the troupe was from Akitakata. A stronghold of the spectacular, traditional folk art, there are some 22 active troupes in the rural area in the north of Hiroshima Prefecture.
Hiroshima Kagura has long had an enthusiastic Japanese fan base, but thanks to recent efforts to make Hiroshima Kagura more accessible – by organizing performances with English subtitles on monitors and interpreted post-performance Q&A sessions with troupe members – the art has been getting increasing attention from international residents and visitors from overseas.
Akitakata is now offering a unique opportunity to go deeper into the world of Hiroshima Kagura and take a closer look at the work that goes into bringing the thrilling tales of demons, serpents and heroes to life. After local guides give a short introduction to Hiroshima Kagura at Kagura Village in Akitakata, Hiroshima Kagura: Behind-the-Scenes gives you exclusive access to one of the rehearsal sessions held by each troupe 2 to 3 times a week.
Watching the performers rehearse was a real behind the scenes experience. I was amazed by the demon’s movement and how they twirled their fans and swords. At the end of their practice we could ask questions and try on some of the costumes. The robe I donned weighed over 10 kg, which made their twirling around the stage all the more impressive.
Kim from Canada
Watching the rehearsal will give you a much greater appreciation of the artistry and skill that goes into each performance, as well as insights into just how much Kagura is an integral and essential part of local culture and the passion he players feel about continuing the tradition. As well as watching the rehearsal there is plenty of time to ask questions, take a close look at and handle the elaborate costumes and masks and to take photos and video.
I was really impressed with the warm welcome we received from the troupe at the rehearsal and the level of talent and dedication was impressive to watch.
Joy from USA
Hiroshima Kagura: Behind-the-Scenes Tour
19:30 – 20:00 Introduction to Kagura (Kagura Village)
20:00 – 20:30 Guides drive you to Kagura Troupe rehearsal space
20:30 – 21:30 Kagura rehearsal experience
21:30 – 22:00 Return to Kagura Village with your guides
Contact Akitakata City for pricing at [email protected].
Stay in Akitakata
As the Hiroshima Kagura: Behind-the-Scenes Tour takes place in the evening, it is recommended that participants consider staying overnight in Akitaka. Accommodation is available at Kagura Village, where there is also a restaurant, hot spring and shops (shops only open in the daytime) and at two farmstay locations, Cherie-no-hatake and Iniabi Farm.
|Hot spring facility||Stylishly refurbished||Authentic farmhouse|
|Public restaurant||Beautiful bath||Private sleeping area|
|Shopping||Vegan dining||Farm experience available|
|Online booking||Online booking||Reserve by email|
|Google map||Google map||Google map|
Getting to Akitakata
Akitakata is qpproximately 1 hour form Hiroshima City by car.
If staying overnight in Akitakata pick up from Mukaihara JR Station or Akitakata City Hall can be arranged.
Train to Mukaihara: 55-70min on the Geibi Line from Hiroshima Station (¥860 one way)
Bus to Akitatata City Hall: 90min from Hiroshima Bus Center
- Akitakata Tourist Information (Japanese)
- More about Kagura
- Hiroshima Kagura performances with English subtitles