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Sunday, April 17, 2005

KANSAI Who & What

Kobe hosting major event to mark quake
A four-month-long event to mark the 10th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake will begin Thursday at the Kobe Maritime Museum in Meriken Park.

The "Times Meriken" event will be part of "Messages from Kobe," a series of projects and programs organized by the municipal government and a number of private enterprises, with the goal of conveying the experiences and lessons from the disaster. Through various attractions, the event will show the extent of restoration and development since the quake.

The main attraction is the 133 Days Cafe, which will feature sweets from several popular Kobe patisseries. It will include a display of clothing, furniture and other kinds of products designed or made exclusively for this event by 40 creators based in or related to Kobe.

Also, a restaurant will serve dishes prepared with the recipes of top chefs at six Italian and French restaurants in the city. Several shops from Nankinmachi Chinatown will add some Chinese flavor.

The event will run until Aug. 31. It will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, except for the restaurant, which will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Entrance is free.

The venue is a 10-minute walk from the Minato Motomachi subway station, and a 15-minute walk from JR Motomachi Station.

For more information, call the executive committee at (078) 322-6476 or fax (078) 322-6051.

Spring herb festival to run through May
A spring herb festival will be held from April 23 to May 29 at Nunobiki Herb Park in Kobe's Chuo Ward.

The park grows about 200 varieties of herbs on a mountain slope in Kobe. Chamomile and other kinds of spring herbs will be in bloom during the festival.

A variety of events are planned, including free concerts on Sundays and national holidays, except for next Sunday; a demonstration of flower perfume blending on May 28; and herb cooking classes on April 23, April 26 and May 19. Also, visitors can pick some flowers in the garden for free; carnations on May 8, and chamomiles on the final day of the festival.

The perfume demonstration will cost 1,500 yen, and participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To attend the cooking classes, advance reservations are required.

To get to the park, take the Shin-Kobe Ropeway to Nunobiki Herb-en Station from Kitano 1-chome Station, which is a five-minute walk from JR Shin-Kobe Station and the Shin-Kobe subway station.

Admission is 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for children. The park will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except for Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, when it will operate until 8:30 p.m.

For more information, call the park at (078) 271-1131, fax (078) 271-1133 or visit its Web site at www.kobe-park.or.jp/herb/

Turkish course offered in Kyoto
The Japan-Turkey Culture Society is seeking participants for a Turkish-language course for beginners starting May 6 at its office in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto.

The 20-session course is aimed at providing beginners with basic knowledge and skills of the language. The class will meet 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday. The lecturer will be Fumiko Sawae, a research fellow at Kyoto University.

During the course, students will be able to use the society's library, which boasts one of the richest collections of Turkey-related publications in Kansai region.

The fee is 50,000 yen, not including textbooks. In addition, membership in the society costs 4,000 yen.

For applications and more information, call the organizer at (075) 255-7530.

French photographer holding Osaka exhibit
"Tokyo alone," a photography exhibition, is being held at Flanders Center in Tennoji Ward, Osaka.

On show are a series of photos taken in Tokyo by Frederik Froument, a French photographer who has worked for such high-profile magazines as Cosmopolitan, Elle and Marie Claire. In this series, the artist has chosen Tokyo's people and cityscape, and attempts to focus on them from the perspective of loneliness.

The exhibition will run until May 27. The venue is open from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. It is closed Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.

Entrance is free.

The venue is on the third floor of International House, Osaka, which is a six-minute walk from Uehonmachi Station on the Kintetsu Line, or a 10-minute walk from Tanimachi 9-chome Station on the Tanimachi or Sennichimae subway lines.

For more information, call the venue at (06) 6773-8850.

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