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Sunday, May 1, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

International food exhibition in Osaka:

An international exhibition of food is being held until May 8 at Intex Osaka in Suminoe Ward.

The exhibition has been held every four years since 1985, attracting about 3 million visitors in the past five shows.

This year, the event is using all six buildings of Intex Osaka, one of the largest exhibition centers in Japan, to offer people the opportunity to taste a wide variety of food products from all over the world, observe stage performances, and take a look at the latest cooking utensils and kitchen systems. A total of 300 companies from the food industry are participating in the event.

There is a German-style beer hall selling beer, wine and foods from various countries of Europe. Many kinds of local Japanese foods are featured, along with exhibits on the diversity of Asian noodles and instant noodles, as well as sweets from Japan and Western countries.

Admission is 1,800 yen for high school students and adults, and 900 yen for elementary school and junior high school students. The exhibition will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, except on the final day when it will close at 5 p.m.

The venue is three-minute walk from Nakafuto Station on the Newtram Line.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6612-9000.

Tour to take in famed Nara peony flowers:

A volunteer guide is organizing a one-day trip for English-speaking foreigners May 14 to observe thousands of peony flowers at a temple in Nara Prefecture.

The excursion is to Hase Temple in Sakurai. Its main building from the Edo Period was designated as a national treasure in 2004, and the temple is also known for growing some 7,000 peony flowers, which are expected to be in full bloom around the time of the tour.

Participants will meet guide Paul Satoh at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Tourist Information Office on the second floor of JR Kyoto Station.

The cost of the trip will be around 3,500 yen, including transportation, lunch and admission to the temple. Another 2,000 yen will be accepted by the guide as a gratuity.

Reservations must be made in advance. The event is reserved for non-Japanese only.

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

Discussion on mental health set for Kyoto:

The Kyoto City International Foundation is inviting English-speaking foreigners to a discussion meeting on mental health from 10 a.m. to noon May 21 at its facility in Sakyo Ward.

This is the second meeting in the monthly, four-session series of group discussions in which participants are invited to talk about mental-health issues often faced by non-Japanese living in Japan. This month's topic is mental health in the workplace. The discussion will be led by Sandra Kimball, a licensed counselor who is a member of International Mental Health Professionals Japan.

Participation is free. Reservations are not required.

The venue, Kyoto International Community House, or Kyoto-shi Kokusai Koryu Kaikan, is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the Tozai subway line.

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

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