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Sunday, March 27, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

The Ritsurin Park, a noted Japanese-style garden in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, is now being lit up every night through April 3 for the spring holiday season.

The garden, completed in the Edo Period after 100 years of construction work, was originally a private estate of the local ruler Matsudaira family, and today is attracting people as a popular sightseeing spot in Shikoku.

During the period, a 1.4-km course, which mainly covers the northern part of the garden, will be illuminated. There are a number of old cherry trees and pine trees in the area, and when lit up, their overhanging branches will offer a scenic view against the dark garden grounds and water ponds.

Also on weekends, there will be a live music performance, food stalls selling "udon" noodles - one of the most popular products of the prefecture - and sweet dumplings. Japanese tea will also be on sale at the garden's Higurashitei teahouse.

The entrance fee is 400 yen for adults and 170 yen for children.

The park will be illuminated from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

To get to the park, take Shinkansen to Okayama Station, and then cross the Seto Ohashi Bridge by train, get off at Takamatsu Station, and take JR Kotoku Line to Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi Station. The venue is a three minute walk from there.

For more information, call Kagawa Prefectural Local Government's Tourism Promotion Division at (087) 832-3359.

The British Council's Osaka office is hosting an education fair for people who wish to study in Britain.

The fair will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 3 and will be held at the Osaka office in Kita Ward.

As part of Education UK Day, participants will be able to discuss study plans with representatives of some 30 universities and other institutions.

The fair will also offer a wide array of information for people simply interested in Britain, or have already chosen their study destination. It will include a series of seminars on life and study in Britain and on IELTS (International English-Language Testing System) tests, as well as discussions with Japanese people who have studied in Britain.

These sessions will be conducted in Japanese or with Japanese interpretations.

Participation fee is free. Reservations are not required.

The venue is on the fourth floor of the Dojima Avanza building, which is a five-minute walk from Nishi Umeda subway station.

For more information, call the Osaka office at (06) 6342-5301, or e-mail: educationuk.osaka@britishcouncil.or.jp

A jazz concert to mark the opening of "Deutschland in Japan 2005/2006" will be held at 3 p.m. April 10 in JR Kyoto Station building in Shimogyo Ward.

Deutschland in Japan 2005/2006 is one-year promotion of Germany, running from next month to March 2006 with many cultural and other varieties of events.

At the concert, Landes Jugend Jazz Orchestra Hessen, a world-touring big band comprising young players between ages 16 and 24, will perform such numbers as "Kicks & Sticks," "Groove Merchant" and "Melt Away."

The venue, Muromachi Koji Square, is located at the bottom of the station building's huge staircase with 171 steps.

Admission is free.

For more information, call the organizer Goethe-Institut Kyoto at (075) 761-2188, or visit its Web site: www.goethe.de/kyoto

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