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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

Japanese classes offered in Osaka:
Osaka International House Foundation is seeking students for three-month Japanese courses starting in September at International House, Osaka, in Tennoji Ward.

The courses are aimed at providing non-Japanese with conversation skills required for everyday life, as well as some training in reading and writing.

Four courses, held weekly, are available based on the participants' language skills. Each consists of 12 sessions. Elementary Class 1, for entry-level beginners, and Elementary Class 4 will be held on Wednesdays starting Sept. 14, while Class 2 and Class 3 will meet on Tuesdays starting Sept. 13.

The fee is 5,000, yen including the cost of textbooks. Ten people will be accepted for each class on a first-come, first-served basis.

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 Sept. 6 and Sept. 7. Reservations for the interview must be made in advance.

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

Castle garden open for night insect sounds:
A Japanese-style garden on the grounds of Hikone Castle will be open after dark so that the songs of insects may be heard.

From Thursday to Oct. 10, Genkyu-en Garden in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, will be open 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. In addition to its scenery, the garden is famous for the sounds of insects in autumn -- a Japanese seasonal delight. The garden and castle will be illuminated during this time.

In addition, Japanese tea and a boat ride will be available. Tea will be served at an old tea house on weekdays for 500 yen. It will be served outdoors on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays for the same fee. Boat rides will be available for free on the same days.

Admission is 500 yen and the doors close at 8:30 p.m.

The garden is 15-minute walk from Hikone Station on the JR Biwako Line.

For more information, call Hikone Sightseeing Association at (0749) 23-0001.

Major antique fair set for Kobe's Rokko Island:
A large-scale antique fair will take place Friday to Sept. 4 at Kobe Fashion Mart's Atrium Plaza on Rokko Island in Higashi-Nada Ward.

About 150 dealers from all over the country will sell a wide variety of antiques from Japan and Europe. Items will include ceramics, furniture, cameras, kimono and accessories.

Entrance is free. The fair will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on the final day).

The venue is located on the ground floor of the Fashion Mart building, which is near Island Center Station on the Rokko Liner.

For more information, call the organizer at (077) 522-2307 or fax (077) 523-0949.

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