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Sunday, Feb. 8, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Aquarium to bring snow to Osaka's children: Kaiyukan Aquarium, in Osaka's Minato Ward, is inviting people to a snow festival that features a field covered by natural snowflakes from Hyogo Prefecture today, Wednesday and Feb. 14 and 15.

The event will give children living in warmer areas of Kansai the opportunity to play with snow. The snow field, measuring 18 meters by 14 meters and set up in front of the Kaiyukan building, contains about 80 tons of snow that has been brought in from Hyogo's Yumura Onsen hot spring district and is open to all visitors.

There will also be a treasure-hunt game and a footbath using hot water from the Yumura Onsen, as well as a log-cutting competition for parents and children.

The snow field will be open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission to the aquarium is not required.

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

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

Osaka shrine to hold plum blossom festival: A plum blossom festival is being held at Osaka Temmangu Shrine in the city's Kita Ward until March 7.

At the Ume Matsuri, more than 50 bonsai plum trees -- including some more than 200 years old -- will be displayed alongside Shinto treasures. The shrine is one of the most popular "temmangu," which worship Sugawara Michizane, a great scholar from the ninth century, as a deity and is visited by a many students during the winter examination season.

There will also be an open-air market today in the shrine's precincts and several other events during the festival.

Admission to the plum-tree display is 500 yen. The room will be open between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The shrine is a five-minute walk from Osaka Temmangu Station on the JR Line.

For more information, call the shrine at (06) 6353-0025.

Association set to open new Osaka youth hostel: A new youth hostel will open on March 1 near Shin-Osaka Station on the JR Line.

The hostel, run by the Osaka Youth Hostel Association, is a five-minute walk from the east gate of JR Shin-Osaka Station and located on the ninth and tenth floors of Koko Plaza (Youth Culture & Creation Center) in Osaka's Higashi-Yodogawa Ward. There are 126 beds in dormitories, Japanese-style or private twin rooms. A one-night stay will cost 3,300 yen, dinner costs 1,050 yen and breakfast is served for 480 yen.

The hostel is already accepting reservations.

The hostel is also seeking people to test the new facility on Feb. 23, 25, 27 or 28. Monitors can stay for free, but will be required to pay for dinner and breakfast.

For reservations and more information, call the hostel at (06) 6370-5427, fax (06) 6370-5428, or e-mail the Osaka Youth Hostel Association at osaka-yha@jyh.or.jp

Foundation to bring together art, science: L'Oreal Art and Science Foundation will host a series of workshops to discuss the meeting of science and art on Feb. 27 and 28 at the Kyoto Art Center in the city's Nakagyo Ward.

How visual art interacts with and is employing cutting-edge technologies will be discussed by four Japanese lecturers, including Tatsuya Shimoda, a specialist in electroluminescence display technology from Seiko Epson Corp., on Feb. 27, and Einen Miura, a marbled paper artist, on Feb. 28.

The workshops will be held between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Feb. 27 and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 28. They will be conducted in Japanese.

Participation for one day is free for students and 1,000 yen for others. Applications must be made in advance and there are places for 200 people each day on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications can be made via fax or e-mail.

For applications and more information, call Miho Project at (075) 212-4456, fax (075) 253-2252 or e-mail yu-an1@mbox.kyoto-inet.or.jp

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