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Sunday, July 17, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

Annual fireworks show on Osaka waterfront:
A fireworks display will be held 7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Tempozan Harbor Village, a waterfront amusement district in Minato Ward, Osaka.

The 13th annual display can be viewed at and around the quay west of the village's Kaiyukan aquarium.

During the 45-minute presentation, 3,000 fireworks will be launched from a barge anchored in the Port of Osaka, with a variety of pyrotechnic effects and images, including fish, coral and peacock wings. The display will climax with a gold and silver "waterfall" created by some 500 fireworks.

The village's facilities will have extended hours, with Kaiyukan staying open until 10 p.m., Tempozan Market Place until 10:30 p.m. and the Ferris wheel operating until 11 p.m.

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

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

Nunobiki Herb Park staging major festival:
Nunobiki Herb Park in Chuo Ward, Kobe, is holding a festival featuring herbs and spices through Oct. 3.

The park grows about 200 kinds of herbs on a mountain slope that provides a panoramic view of Kobe.

Until July 31, the park is featuring basil, with 10 kinds of the herb grown in the garden, and basil cooking classes will be held at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. July 30.

Participation is free. The first 100 applicants will be accepted for each session. Also, this Sunday and Monday, visitors wearing "yukata" summer kimono will get a special discount. They can ride the Shin-Kobe ropeway and enter the park for a price of 1,000 yen for adults and 500 yen for children. They will also get a small "uchiwa" fan decorated with pressed flowers as a gift.

From Aug. 6 through Aug. 28, the park will hold events featuring various spices, and on Aug. 21, visitors will have the opportunity to pick some sunflowers for free. The event will begin at 1 p.m., and the first 200 applicants will be accepted.

The rosemary festival will run Sept. 3 to Oct. 3, and as part of the festival, visitors will be able to pick rosemary flowers Sept. 24. It will be held at 1 p.m. and at 2 p.m., and 20 people will be accepted for each.

The park will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and the period between July 20 and Aug. 31, when it will operate from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Admission is 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for children.

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 Shin-Kobe Station.

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

Underwater flowers illuminated in Maibara:
Baikamo underwater flowers are now in bloom and being illuminated every night until July 24 in the Samegai district of Maibara, Shiga Prefecture.

Baikamo is a kind of aquatic plant in the buttercup family that grows only in clean fresh water. At this time of year it bears white flowers resembling plum blossoms.

The Samegai district boasts a preserved "shukuba-machi," an old town full of inns and lodges for travelers. The Jizo River that flows through the district is the home to baikamo, and a 400-meter course along the river, near JR Samegai Station, will be illuminated from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The submerged plants will be illuminated both from above and below.

The venue is a five-minute walk from the station.

For more information, call the city's sightseeing department at (0749) 58-2227.

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