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Sunday, Nov. 28, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Free consultations with specialists in Kyoto: The Kyoto City International Foundation will hold a free consultation session for non-Japanese residents from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at its facility in Sakyo Ward.

The session is aimed at providing non-Japanese residents who do not understand Japanese with advice on issues often faced by foreigners, including legal matters, employment, taxes, social insurance, immigration and mental health. Advice will be given in strict confidence by specialists in each field.

Interpreters will be available for speakers of Chinese, English, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai.

The service is free, but advance reservations are recommended.

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

Day tour to ninja base in Mie Prefecture: A day trip Dec. 5 to the home of ninja warriors in Mie Prefecture is being organized for English-speaking foreigners.

Following this month's excursion to Koka in Shiga Prefecture, one of the two birthplaces of ninja feudal warriors of stealth, English-speaking guide Paul Satoh is planning a trip to the other ninja base in the city of Iga. Participants will visit a ninja museum, a ninja house and various attractions.

Participants will meet Satoh at 9 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Tourist Information Office on the second floor of the JR Kyoto Station building.

Participants will be required to pay the actual cost of the trip, including transportation and lunch, which will be around 4,000 yen. Plus, another 2,000 yen will be accepted as a gratuity.

Reservations must be made and the event is reserved for non-Japanese only.

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

Christmas ikebana and music performance: The Kyoto chapter of Ikebana International will host a Christmas luncheon featuring a flower arrangement and bamboo music performance at noon Dec. 14 at Brighton Hotel Kyoto in Kamigyo Ward.

Hiroyuki Nagano, a musician and self-taught flower arrangement artist, will arrange flowers and play a unique bamboo percussion called "take-zutsumi" that he invented. Participants will be invited to play take-zutsumi themselves.

The event costs 5,500 yen for members and 6,500 yen for nonmembers, including the fee for the luncheon. Non-Japanese students can attend the performance at no charge.

Reservations must be made by Friday.

For reservations and details, call the organizer at (075) 723-5256.

JET alumni dinner to be held in Osaka: Former participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program are being invited to an alumni meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Outback Grill steakhouse in Kita Ward, Osaka.

This will be the alumni association's last meeting of the year, and a "bonenkai" party will follow. Former JET participants and their friends in western Japan are welcome.

For reservations and more information, e-mail jetaawjrsvp@sonaterra.com

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