Nissay Theatre as an architectural structure

Information on the Nissay Theatre

The theater is an architectural structure that was built by Nippon Life Insurance Company in the Nissay Hibiya Building in September 1963. The theater was designed by the famous architect, Togo Murano (1891 – 1984, a member of The Japan Art Academy, and a recipient of the Order of Culture). The design is highly praised as being distinctly representative of Showa Period architecture.

The theater appearance is one of stateliness with its use of pale red Mannari-ishi stones, oriental-styled windows recessed as if the balcony has been recessed from the walls and handrails with black patterns, and marble mosaics designed by Roka Hasegawa can be seen in the corridors of the theater. The first floor is surrounded by transparent glass, and Grecian pillars, a white marble floor, and large aluminum grill lighting, and the entrance hall (piloti), all of which are a feast for the eyes. And the red-carpeted grand staircase and spiral stairs leading to the audience seating fills the building with grandeur. Thin stainless steel used for the handrails of the stairs and wooden boards on the sidewalls of the spiral stairs create a delicate beauty. White marble tesserae decorate the walls of the lounge on each floor and the ceiling is white plaster with holes, which create a beautiful harmony with the red carpet.

All the walls and ceiling have curved surfaces in the theater. Glass tile mosaics with bright colors of blue, red, pink, white and gold decorate the walls, and twenty-thousand pearl oysters are arranged on the colored plaster of the ceiling. These create a unique and fantastic atmosphere that cannot be experienced in other theaters. In addition, the theater’s interior and exterior is adorned with paintings and sculptures to enrich one’s time before the opening curtain, during intermissions between plays and after the final curtain.

Every year the theater takes great pleasure in presenting its self-produced performances including Nissay Masterpiece Theatre (the former “Nissay Masterpiece Series”), Nissay Opera and Family Festival in addition to various general performances including operas, plays, musicals and concerts since its first performance of Fidelio, the German opera, at the opening of the theater in October 1963. The yearly performances have gained the favor of young and old. The theater greatly appreciates the patronage of all of its guests and welcomes continued visits.

This page provides you with general information on our theater in the hope of enhancing the enjoyment, convenience, and comfort of each of our guests. When visiting Hibiya, please visit our theater to not only appreciate each performance but the entire atmosphere of the Nissay Theatre. We await your visit.