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Friday, April 15, 2011

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Wheels of history: Owners proudly present their vintage motorcars, as they get ready for La Festa Primavera, a car rally around the Kansai area. LA FESTA PRIMAVERA

Drive through Kansai the old-fashioned way

Staff writer

OSAKA — 'One can learn new things by studying the past" is the motto behind a remarkable upcoming automobile extravaganza.

La Festa Primavera is an annual car race that began in 2009 and takes place in the Kansai region. It spans four days from April 16 till April 19.

In line with its motto, the ideology behind the event is based on a "respect for the old." The love of vintage cars that the organizers of the festival share is matched only by their appreciation for landmarks and sites of cultural significance.

Although the start and finish lines are set in Osaka, the route of the rally takes participants on quite a comprehensive tour of arguably Japan's richest area of cultural and historical heritage — Kansai, home to Kyoto and Nara.

What is unique about this particular event, along with it's more established sister event La Festa Mille Miglia, is that all the participating vehicles are vintage motorcars.

In light of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and its after-effects, the organizers of the race have changed this year's theme to "Ganbarou Nippon!" (roughly translated as "Let's Do Our Best Japan!"). During the event, attendants will collect donations, which will be sent to the afflicted areas in the northeast of Japan.

"La Festa Primavera" starts in Osaka and tours the greater Kansai region. For more information, visit www.lafesta-primavera.com.

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