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Sunday, July 15, 2001

Kanasai / Who & What

Foreigners can enjoy one-day Kyoto festival

The Guide Interpreter Volunteer Club will take foreigners on a one-day tour of Kyoto on July 24.

Participants will visit Kyoto's Shijo street to observe a procession of women in "hanagasa" flower-decked hats and traditional costumes, which forms part of the Gion Festival attractions. Participants can then visit either Chion-in Temple, the head temple of the Jodo Buddhist sect, or Shin-monzen street, an area featuring many antique shops that is near the Gion tea house area.

The cost will be around 3,000 yen, including transportation, lunch, admission to the temple and a 1,000 yen donation to support the volunteer club's activities.

Participants are asked to meet at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Tourist Information Office, located on the second floor of JR Kyoto Station.

To sign up or get more information, fax Paul Satoh at (072) 831-2797.

Speech contest winner bound for San Francisco

The Kobe YMCA Cross Cultural Center is seeking applicants for its annual English and Japanese speech contest. The contest will be held on Nov. 23 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kobe Maritime Museum in Chuo Ward, Kobe.

The theme for the 22nd competition is "On the Tide of Globalization -- My Ideas for Community Creation in the 21st Century."

People of all nationalities are eligible to enter. Applicants, who must be age 16 or over, will be expected to discuss the theme in both English and Japanese. The speeches can be up to five minutes in length for each language.

Applicants must submit written and recorded copies of their speeches in advance and about 10 finalists will be chosen to present their work on Nov. 23. The winner will receive a trophy, a pair of round-trip air tickets to San Francisco and an MD player.

Those interested in taking part must obtain an application form from the center. The written and recorded speech must be handed in by Oct. 23. For more information, call the organizer at (078) 241-8801.

Weekly Japanese classes set to kick off in Osaka

Osaka International House Foundation is seeking foreign residents to sign up for its weekly Japanese classes, which begin September at its facility in Tennoji Ward, Osaka.

Two courses are available: a beginner-level class for participants with hardly any knowledge of Japanese and another for people with basic conversation skills.

The classes will be conducted in Japanese.

Both courses run for three months, with the beginners' course beginning Sept. 3 and the other on Sept. 5.

Fifteen applicants will be accepted for each of the courses, which cost 5,000 yen.

Course applicants will be asked to take a Japanese test beforehand. The tests for beginners will be held at 10 a.m. on July 30 and Aug. 6. The tests for the other course will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 1 and Aug. 8.

The venue is a 10-minute walk from Tanimachi 9-chome Station on the subway Tanimachi or Sennichimae lines.

For applications and more information, call Osaka International House Foundation's Information Center at (06) 6773-8989.

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