Visitors to Ota, a usually quiet village on the Kunisaki Peninsula, swell the local population by a…
TAO no Oka is the dazzling entertainment facility created by the dazzlingly entertaining Drum TAO. Set high in the Aso-Kuju National Park, it is certainly one of the world’s most dramatic open-air stages, a ‘Theatre in the Sky’.
TAO no Oka overlooks gorgeous bucolic countryside framed by the Kuju towering mountains and Aso, an active volcano. This soaring grandstand setting is the sensational natural backdrop, where all the world does seem to be the stage, to Drum TAO high-energy, flamboyant performances with wadaiko drum, shinobue flutes, shamisen three-stringed lutes, koto zithers, chants, dance and acrobatics.
Drum TAO, Japan’s internationally acclaimed drumming and dance group, has been based in Oita since 1995. TAO no Oka, which opened in 2020, is the group’s new performance and arts complex, which includes an exhibition of the group’s stage costumes created by Junko Koshino, cafe, bar, video theatre, shop and Club TAO, an intimate indoor live performance space. After each concert, the group’s performers mix and mingle with audience members serving food, mixing cocktails and posing for photographs with their fans.
Performances are held regularly throughout the season from early spring through to the autumn. Sited at 1,036 metres above sea-level, concert goers should be prepare clothing for varying weather according to the time of year including cool to cold temperatures, strong sunlight and rain. A hat, sunglasses and windbreaker should suffice in most instances but it is always best to check the weather forecast beforehand.
At a glance
Drum TAO's new performance and art centre, which has one of the world's most dramatically located outdoor theatres in the world.