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Sunday, Dec. 7, 2003

KANSAI Who & What

Osaka district lights up its streets for Christmas: The Nakanoshima district of Osaka's Kita Ward is being illuminated every evening until Dec. 27 as the city celebrates Christmas.

A 16-meter-tall Christmas tree from Norway, decorated with nearly 7,000 lights, has been set up in front of the Osaka city office. Illuminations also decorate the street to the south of the city office, as well as roads around Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library and Nakanoshima Park. The tree and the illuminations will be lit up between 5 p.m. and midnight.

In addition, a market selling goods such as wine, herbal teas and candles will be held between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. from Dec. 19 to 25 in Nakanoshima Park's rose garden, while free concerts and other forms of entertainment will be available throughout the area.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6615-0696.

Santa to go swimming at Kaiyukan aquarium: The Kaiyukan aquarium, in Osaka's Minato Ward, will hold a Christmas event every day from Dec. 13 to 25.

Divers dressed up as Santa Claus will appear in the aquarium's two huge tanks, which are home to a whale shark, a giant manta, Pacific white-sided dolphins and many other kinds of marine life. During a 20-minute appearance, the divers will swim with the creatures, waving at visitors, feeding dolphins and posing for photographs. There will be seven such shows daily.

Admission to the aquarium is 2,000 yen for adults, 900 yen for elementary and junior high school students, and 400 yen for children aged 4 and older. The aquarium is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., except this Wednesday.

The venue is a five-minute walk from Osaka-ko Station on the Chuo subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6576-5501.

Scandinavian books put on display by foundation: The Kyoto City International Foundation is holding an exhibition of Christmas books from Scandinavian countries from Wednesday to Dec. 14 at its facility, Kyoto-shi Kokusai Koryu Kaikan, in Sakyo Ward.

The foundation has been collecting and displaying publications for children from around the world. At the exhibition, about 100 picture books on the Christian holiday will be shown, with a selection on sale. Visitors will be able to read all the books.

The exhibition will run between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., but will close at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 13.

Admission is free. The venue is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the Tozai subway line.

For more information, call the foundation's library at (075) 752-1187.



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