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Sunday, July 3, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

Take a day tour to Gion Festival procession:
A volunteer guide is organizing a day tour July 24 for English-speaking foreigners to observe a traditional festival in Kyoto.

Participants will go to Yasaka Shrine in Higashiyama Ward to observe a procession of women in "hanagasa" flower-decked hats and traditional costumes, which forms a part of the Gion Festival, known as one of Japan's three major festivals.

The cost will be around 1,500 yen for bus fare and lunch. Another 1,000 yen will be accepted as a gratuity.

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 the JR Kyoto Station building.

Reservations must be made in advance.

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

Ice cream festival set for Tempozan Harbor:
Village An ice cream festival will be held Friday to Sept. 5 at Tempozan Harbor Village, a waterfront amusement district in Minato Ward, Osaka.

About 150 varieties of ice cream from around the country will be on sale. Many are based on the specialties of various prefectures, including whiskey from Hokkaido, apples and garlic from Aomori, peanuts from Chiba, "kishimen" noodles from Aichi and chrysanthemum flowers from Fukui.

There will be a new kind of ice cream that has been gaining popularity in the United States, Taiwan and South Korea. It is prepared on site by mixing such ingredients as fruits, nuts, milk and yogurt on an iron plate that has been frozen to as cold as minus 30 degrees.

The festival will be on the second floor of the Tempozan Marketplace building and will run 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Entrance is free.

Tempozan Harbor Village is a five-minute walk from Osaka-ko Station on the Chuo subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6576-5501.

Photo exhibit, meeting on tsunami-aid efforts:
Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development (NICCO), an aggregate corporation supporting developing countries through a variety of projects, will hold a photo exhibition and a meeting to report on recent activities for the survivors of the December tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean, both on July 23 at the JR Kyoto Station building in Shimogyo Ward.

The photo exhibition is part of Kokusai Koryu Station, an event to introduce the activities of local organizations engaged in international cooperation, which will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

NICCO will display photos from their activities in Sri Lanka in support of tsunami survivors and in Jordan to promote sustainable agriculture. The group will also sell olive oil from Jordan and other products.

The meeting, conducted in Japanese, will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The venue for the photo exhibition is on the second floor of the station building, near the entrance to the Isetan department store, while the meeting will take place at the conference room of Kyoto Prefectural International Center (Kyoto-fu Kokusai Center), on the building's ninth floor.

For more information, call NICCO at (075) 241-0681, fax (075) 241-0682 or e-mail info@kyoto-nicco.org

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