The Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre is the city’s hub of activity for all kinds of performing arts—both traditional and contemporary—including theatrical plays, dance, kabuki, classical music, and more. It hosts not only well-known and popular performances but also promotes local performing arts and theater companies. Some of the local groups and events organized by the centre are the Matsumoto City Opera, the Daidogei (Street Performance) Festival, and Shinshu Matsumoto O-Kabuki.
Featuring a curving, abstract shape, the Performing Arts Centre building itself is a work of art designed by internationally renowned architect, Toyo Ito. The outer walls are characterized by a speckled pattern formed by 20,000 pieces of inlaid glass. Light shining through these glass spots creates a beautiful effect both on the inside and outside of the building.
Walking inside, you will find a unique and gently curving escalator leading to the main lobby on the 2nd floor. There is also a rooftop garden on the 3rd floor, which is planted with grass and lilacs, and offers a splendid view of downtown Matsumoto and the Japan Alps beyond. Both the lobby area and the rooftop garden are completely open to the public so you can enjoy the wonderful work of architecture even if you don’t have tickets to a performance.
Tours of the inside of the theaters are also possible, however, you must contact the Performing Arts Centre in advance and schedule an appointment. Note that they cannot provide foreign language guides during tours.
The Performing Arts Centre is used for the opera performance during the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival.