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Sunday, Aug. 15, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Street performers grace Osaka amusement area: Street performers are showing off their skills at Tempozan Harbor Village, a waterfront amusement district in Minato Ward, Osaka, until Monday.

The 14th annual Tempozan World Performance Festival features 25 groups, including clowns, jugglers, pantomime artists, magicians and other performers from Japan, Australia, Britain and the United States. Performances will take place at various sites in the village, including the open-air main stage, the Kaiyukan aquarium's hall and in front of the Tempozan Market Place shopping building.

Performances start at noon and run until 7 p.m. on Sunday and 5:30 p.m. on Monday, when the final performance by all of the groups will start at 4 p.m. at the main stage.

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

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6576-5524.

Major pottery fair on Kyoto's Gojo Street: A large-scale pottery fair is being held until Tuesday on Gojo Street in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto.

The Gojo-zaka Pottery Festival, one of the largest of its kind in Japan, takes place every year and attracts 500,000 people. About 500 vendors open stalls along both sides of Gojo Street, between Kawabata and Higashioji streets.

On sale will be products of Kiyomizu-yaki, a popular local porcelain, as well as Seto, Arita, Shigaraki and other representative ceramic styles of Japan.

The venue is near exit No. 4 of Keihan Gojo Station, or a five-minute walk from Kawaramachi Gojo bus stop, which can be accessed by the No. 205 or No. 17 city buses, starting from JR Kyoto Station.

The fair runs each day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information, call (075) 541-1192.

Nighttime illumination at Enryakuji Temple: Enryakuji Temple in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, will be illuminated in the evenings from Monday to Friday.

The temple, headquarters of the Tendai Buddhist sect founded in the eighth century, is one of the most important Buddhist centers in Japan and designated as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. All week, several important buildings at the temple's Toto area, including the Kompon Chudo main hall, will be lighted by about 2,000 Japanese traditional lanterns and lamps.

From Monday to Wednesday, there will also be a Buddhist ceremony and small concerts.

The illumination will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day.

The entrance fee for the temple is 550 yen.

A special bus service will be available from JR Kyoto Station or from the subway Keihan Sanjo Station and Sanjo Station on the Keihan Line. The round trip will cost 1,500 yen. The bus will leave Kyoto Station at 4:20 p.m., 4:50 p.m., 5:20 p.m. and 5:50 p.m., and each will depart Sanjo Keihan 21 minutes later.

For more information, call the organizer at (077) 529-2216, or call the temple at (077) 578-0001.

KyoRyuKan planning two performances: The KyoRyuKan Theater Company, a performance troupe based in Kyoto, will be staging shows Aug. 15 and Aug. 16 at KyoRyuKan in Kamigyo Ward.

The company, founded by choreographer and award-winning dancer Peter Golightly, will present two productions at the performance, which are both a mixture of Asian and Western dance forms. One is titled "Smoke," a piece inspired by Daimonji-yaki, the famous bonfire in Kyoto to send ancestral spirits back to the other world, after their visits during the Bon Festival, while the other, "Lost Child," is an adventure of Jizo, a Buddhist deity popular in Japan as the protector of children.

The performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15, followed by a wine-tasting party, and at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Aug. 16, with a dinner.

Also, attendants Aug. 16 will be invited to observe the Daimonji fires from the top of the KyoRyuKan building.

Advance tickets cost 2,500 yen for Aug. 15 and 3,500 yen for Aug. 16.

For tickets and more information, call KyoRyuKan at (075) 213-0288.

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