The art of Kabuki, Japanese Opera.
I was fortunate to attend one performance a few years back and recommend to anyone with an interest in Traditional Japanese Culture, to go to at least one Kabuki production. The one I went to was absolutely remarkable. This was one of the most intense emotional performances on every level, and it went way past my expectations . Usually a Kabuki performance consists of 3 independent sections, for example, a dance, a traditional samurai story, and a human drama and takes around 4-5 hours depending on the story, but with intermissions in between each section the time actually went by fast. Just like a western style Opera, the voices of the actors in Kabuki are different from how we normally sing and speak, but the powerful emotions that come out of Kabuki are very quickly appreciated and send shivers down your spine. It was amazing how they keep the traditions of Kabuki alive, but also use modern lighting and stage props. The costumes of the actors (all male) are also mind boggling. Many visitors to Japan think Japan is a modern country with skyscrapers and neon lights everywhere, but I think this is the kind of Traditional Japanese Culture that everyone is hoping to find when they get here. If you want to experience real Japanese Culture, a Kabuki Performance should be high on your list of things to do.