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Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

Santa Claus to dive at Kaiyukan Aquarium:
Kaiyukan Aquarium in Minato Ward, Osaka, is holding a Christmas event daily through Dec. 25.

A diver dressed up as Santa Claus will appear in the aquarium's largest tank, which is home to a whale shark, a giant manta and many other kinds of marine life. Durung three 40-minute appearances each day, the diver will swim with the creatures, waving at visitors and posing for photographs. Also, there will be a quiz for visitors. Aquarium staff will ask visitors questions and the diver will announce the answers with a gesture. Those who answer correctly will receive a prize.

The diver will appear at 11 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. on weekdays, and at 11 a.m., 1:25 p.m., 3:55 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. The 1:25 p.m. and 3:55 p.m. appearances will be 30 minutes long.

Admission to the aquarium is 2,000 yen for adults, 900 yen for elementary and junior high school students, and 400 yen for children aged 4 and older.

The aquarium is open daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The venue is a five-minute walk from Osaka-ko Station on the Chuo subway line.

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

English-language tour of Kyoto's Oharano:
The Osaka YWCA Senri Center is organizing an English-speaking excursion to Kyoto on Dec. 11.

The destination, Oharano, is a scenic district in the southwest of the city, whose beauty was celebrated by ancient aristocrats.

Participants will visit Yoshiminedera Temple, founded in 1029 and located on a mountain slope, offering visitors a panoramic view of Kyoto. Participants will proceed to Jurinji Temple, where Ariwara no Narihira, an aristocrat and renowned poet from the Heian Period, is buried.

The walk will take about two hours, and participants are recommended to bring their own lunch.

The cost will be 2,100 yen, including transportation from Osaka and admission to the temples.

Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at Big Man, the huge TV screen in front of the Kinokuniya book store near Hankyu Umeda Station.

Reservations must be made by Dec. 4.

For reservations and more information, call the coordinator at 090-9253-7150 or e-mail usagi9999@yahoo.co.jp

Ancient court music featured in Osaka:
A performance of ancient Japanese court music and Buddhist chanting, accompanied by an orchestra and a ballet dancer, will be staged at 3 p.m. Dec. 18 at International House, Osaka, in Tennoji Ward.

The Creative Tradition 2005 concert will commemorate the 2005 Japan-EU Year of People-to-People Exchanges, a joint campaign to promote exchange and mutual understanding between people in Japan and the European Union.

The first half of the show features the combination of Buddhist chanting and court music, a performance known as "bugaku-hoe," while the latter half showcases "Shomyo Symphony II," a piece by the late composer Maki Ishii, which is a collaboration of these traditional Japanese arts with Western classical music and dance.

The Maki Ishii Memorial Orchestra will be conducted by Kevin McCutcheon from the German National Opera, and ballet will be performed by Tereza Podarilova, a ballerina from the Czech National Theater.

Tickets are 2,500 yen in advance and 3,000 yen at the door. Advance tickets are available at ticket agency Ticket Pia, convenience stores including Family Mart, Sunkus and Seven-Eleven, or at the venue's information center, which is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8182, or visit the event's Web site at www.ih-osaka.or.jp/event/2005/e/20051218.htm



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