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Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Kansai / Who & What

English-speaking guide offers blossom tours

An English-speaking guide is offering plum and cherry-blossom tours in Nara every day in March and April, except Saturdays.

Participants can meet Harry Horii at 10 a.m. at the Fountain Square at Nara Station on the Kintetsu Line. The four-hour, 4-km tour will take in several tourist spots in the ancient city, including Nara Park, Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Shrine.

The tour fee is 1,000 yen and reservations are appreciated.

For more information, call or fax Horii at (0742) 46-3273 or at (090) 3841-4784 or e-mail him at harry-hh@dol.hi-ho.ne.jp

Osaka museum puts global bugs on show

The Osaka Museum of Natural History in Higashisumiyoshi Ward is currently holding an exhibition of world insects.

About 30,000 specimens of beetles, butterflies and other rare insects are on display, while several species of living, large beetles are also on show.

Admission is 400 yen for adults and 300 yen for college and high school students, while younger children can go in for free. The exhibition is open between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. every day except Monday.

The museum is located in the botanical garden of Nagai Park, which is a 10-minute walk from Nagai Station on the Midosuji Line, or a 15-minute walk from Nagai Station on the JR Hanwa Line.

For more information, call the museum at (06) 6697-6221 or visit its home page at www.mus-nh.city.osaka.jp/

Watercolors on display at art gallery in Kyoto

An exhibition of watercolor paintings by Katya Swafford-Cho will be held from Wednesday to March 25 at the Roji Gallery in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto.

The artist will display 30 of her works inspired by the sunshine of California, where she was born and raised, and the rich traditions of Kyoto, where she currently resides.

Admission is free and the exhibition will be open between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day.

The gallery is on Kiyamachi street, located a one-minute walk from the No. 2 of Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station on the Tozai Line or a three-minute walk from the No. 12 exit of Sanjo Station on the Keihan Line. Call the gallery at (075) 221-3501.

The Grand Antique Fair set to start on Friday

The Grand Antique Fair in Kyoto will take place from Friday to March 24 at Pulse Plaza in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto.

More than 900,000 items will be displayed by about 300 vendors from all over Japan. The 22nd fair will feature Japanese woodcraft and other antiques ranging from Art Nouveau to Imari ceramic ware.

Admission is free and the fair will be open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., although it will close at 5 p.m. on the last day.

The venue is a 15-minute walk from Takeda Station on the Kintetsu or Karasuma lines. A free bus service will be available from the station to the venue.

For more information, call the organizer at (077) 522-2307.

Foreign Women Japan to dine at Hilton Hotel

Foreign Women Japan, a group catering to foreign women living in Japan, will hold a dinner/meeting at 6 p.m. on March 28 at the Hilton Hotel in Kita Ward, Osaka.

The guest speaker will be Caroline Pover, author of the book "Being A Broad in Japan: What Every Western Woman Needs to Survive and Thrive."

The participation fee is 4,000 yen for members and 6,000 yen for nonmembers. Reservation must be made by Saturday.

To make a reservations, e-mail the organizers at: few-publicity@hotmail.com

Kobe center set to host seminar on martial art

The Kobe International Community Center is organizing a seminar in English focusing on one specific Japanese martial art from 2 to 4 p.m. on March 30.

The seminar will center on "daito-ryu aiki jujitsu," a self-defense martial art also aimed at improving the health of practitioners. Unlike karate or judo, daito-ryu mainly involves joint-controlling techniques that enable practitioners to pin or throw opponents easily.

During the seminar, Kenkichi Ogami, a daito-ryu master, will demonstrate the art, while an English interpretation of his will be provided.

The fee to attend is 730 yen and the seminar is limited to 20 foreigners and 20 Japanese.

For more details, call KICC at (078) 291-8441.

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