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Sunday, June 26, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

Night tour of Nara for English speakers:
An English-speaking guide is offering an illuminated night tour of Nara from Friday to July 31.

The walking tour covers such popular sightseeing spots of the ancient capital as Todaiji Temple, Sarusawa Pond, Ukimido floating hall, a hexagonal gazebo and Kofukuji Temple, which are all lighted at night at this time of year.

Participants will meet guide Harry Horii at 6:30 p.m. at the fountain square of Nara Station on the Kintetsu Line.

The fee is 2,000 yen per person. Reservations are required.

For reservations and more information, call Horii at (0742) 46-3273 or 090-3841-4784.

Big antique fair set for Pulse Plaza in Kyoto:
A major antique fair will take place from Friday to July 3 at Pulse Plaza in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto.

The Antique Grand Fair in Kyoto, held three times a year, is the largest of its kind in western Japan. About 350 dealers from all over the country and overseas will display more than 1.5 million antiques.

The 32nd fair will feature a wide variety of items including Royal Copenhagen porcelain pieces from Denmark, a collection of Asian fabrics from Nepal and American antiques from the West Coast.

Entrance is free. The fair will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To get there, take the subway or the Kintetsu Line to Takeda Station, and then ride a free bus from the west exit of the station to the venue or use a taxi.

For more information, call the organizer at (077) 522-2307.

Courses offered on kanji reading, writing:
Osaka International House Foundation is seeking students for its one-month courses on Japanese kanji characters held in August at International House, Osaka, in Tennoji Ward.

Two weekly courses are available. One will be held every Tuesday starting Aug. 2, and the other every Wednesday starting Aug. 5. Both classes will meet from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The courses are aimed at providing non-Japanese with kanji reading and writing skills. Anyone who can read hiragana and katakana is welcome. Eight students will be accepted for each course.

The course fee is 2,000, yen including the cost of textbooks.

Applicants will have to take an interview to assess their language skills. The interviews will be held 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on July 19 and 20. Reservations for the interview must be made in advance.

For reservations and more information, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8989.

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