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Sunday, Aug. 24, 2003

KANSAI: Who & What

Traditional hair aids on display in Kyoto: Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward is holding an exhibition that juxtaposes traditional Japanese combs and hair accessories with their European counterparts. The exhibition runs to Aug. 31.

Japanese combs and "kanzashi" long hairpins are popular due to their elaborate handiwork. At the exhibition, many crafts and traditional accessories dating from the Edo Period (1603-1868) to the Showa Era (1926-1989) will be on display, along with European antique combs made in the art nouveau and art deco styles.

The exhibition is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.

Admission costs 200 yen for elementary school students, 300 yen for junior high, high school and college students, and 500 yen for adults. Final admission is at 4:30 p.m.

The museum is located on the east side of Sannen-zaka slope, which leads to Kiyomizu Temple. To get there, board municipal bus No. 206 at JR Kyoto Station and get off at Kiyomizu-michi. The museum is a five-minute walk from there.

For more information, call the museum at (075) 532-4270.

Listen to the insects in the castle garden: A Japanese-style garden in the grounds of Hikone Castle will be open after dark so that visitors can enjoy insect sounds. From Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, Genkyu-en garden in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, will be open between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Genkyu-en is a large garden built in the early Edo Period (1603-1868) by the lord of Hikone Castle. As well as its scenery, the garden is famous for its autumnal insect sounds. The garden will be illuminated during this time.

Visitors can also enjoy Japanese tea and boat rides on the garden pond.

Tea will be served on weekdays at an old tea house at a cost of 500 yen. It will be served outdoors at a cost of 700 yen on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. Boat rides will be free on the same days.

Admission to the garden costs 200 yen for elementary and junior high school students and 500 yen for adults. Final admission is 8:30 p.m.

The garden is a 15-minute walk from Hikone Station on the JR Biwako Line.

For more information, call the Hikone Sightseeing Association at (0749) 23-0001.

A chance to sample Japan's wildest festival: The Guide Interpreter Volunteer Club is organizing a one-day trip for English-speaking foreigners to the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival on Sept. 15.

The Danjiri Matsuri in Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, is considered one of the wildest and roughest festivals in Japan. It features a procession of about 30 elaborately carved wooden floats -- known as "danjiri" -- pulled through the streets by 100 men. At intersections, each of the 4-ton floats is turned in one swift movement that requires tremendous strength and perfect timing.

Participants will meet English-speaking guide Paul Satoh either at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Information Office, located on the second floor of JR Kyoto Station, or at 10:30 a.m. in the lobby of Hotel Granvia Osaka at JR Osaka Station.

The cost will be around 2,500 yen for train fare and lunch. Participants will be asked for an additional 1,000 yen to support the guide club's activities.

The trip is reserved for non-Japanese only. Twelve people will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For reservations and more information, fax Satoh at (072) 831-2797.

International House to host Japanese classes: The Osaka International House Foundation is offering two weekly Japanese language courses for beginners. The courses, one of which starts on Sept. 30 and the other on Oct. 1, will be held at the International House in Osaka's Tennoji Ward.

One course is an introductory-level class for those with limited knowledge of Japanese, while the other is for people with basic Japanese language skills. The courses are aimed at fostering everyday conversational skills. Classes will be held in Japanese only.

Both courses will run for 12 sessions, with the introductory course beginning on Sept. 30 and continuing on Tuesdays.

The basic-skills class will start on Oct. 1 and be held on Wednesdays. Both courses will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Ten applicants will be accepted for each course. The cost of attending is 5,000 yen and applicants will be interviewed for placement on Sept. 23 and 24 between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

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

To make an interview appointment or get more information, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8989.



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