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Sunday, June 13, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Firefly garden open to public: Fireflies can be observed until around June 20 at an artificial forest garden in Kita Ward, Osaka.

The venue, Chushizen-no-mori, is a round-shaped garden measuring 70 meters in diameter. It is located between Umeda Sky Building and The Westin Osaka hotel. There are 1,500 trees of 50 varieties, waterfalls and streams.

About 1,500 fireflies have been released in the garden and another 500 will be added June 18.

There is no charge for admission. The light emitted from the insects will be visible after dark, and the garden will remain open until 10:30 p.m.

The venue is a 10-minute walk from JR Osaka Station or from Umeda Station on the Hankyu, Hanshin and subway lines. Umeda Sky Building is a high-rise complex with two towers linked at the top.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6440-3899.

Big antique fair to be held in Kyoto: A major antique fair will take place June 18 to 20 at Pulse Plaza in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto.

The Antique Grand Fair in Kyoto, held three times a year, is the largest of its kind in western Japan. About 300 vendors from all over the country will display more than 1 million items.

This fair, the 29th in the series, will feature Japanese lacquerware for everyday use, including soup bowls, trays and tiered food boxes. Other items on sale include Japanese furniture, ceramics and kimono, as well as European accessories, dolls and glassware.

Entrance is free. The fair will be open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

To get there, take the subway or the Kintetsu Line to Takeda Station, and then ride a free bus to the venue or use a taxi.

For more information, call the fair's executive committee at (077) 522-2307 or fax (077) 523-0949.

Courses in language, tea ceremony and koto: The Kyoto City International Foundation will be offering a Japanese-language course and classes on the tea ceremony and the koto starting in July.

The language course will be held every Friday beginning July 2. Introductory-level classes will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., while classes for more advanced beginners are from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The course, comprising 12 sessions, costs 3,000 yen.

The tea ceremony lessons will be held every Tuesday, beginning July 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The koto course will be held every Thursday beginning July 1, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Both tea and koto courses cost 6,000 yen for non-Japanese and 20,000 yen for Japanese for 12 sessions.

All will be held at the foundation's facility, Kyoto-shi Kokusai Koryu Kaikan, in Sakyo Ward. Applications should be made at this facility, which is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (075) 752-3511.

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