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Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006

KANSAI: Who & What

English-language tour to historic Shiga area:
The YWCA Senri Center is organizing an English-speaking excursion to Shiga Prefecture on Sept. 23.

The group will visit the Gokasho district of Higashiomi, a historical area with warehouses and residences of old-time merchants. Usually, only three residences are open to the public, but on Sept. 23 more than 40 places will be open with special exhibitions of flower arrangement, kimono, ceramics, photos, calligraphy and other attractions.

There will also be a procession of people in costumes from the Taisho Era (1912-1926), along with tea ceremonies and musical concerts in the area.

The cost is 700 yen, excluding transportation and lunch.

Those wishing to participate should make a reservation by Sept. 17.

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

Major Thai festival in Osaka's Tennoji Park:
A festival featuring specialties from Thailand will take place next weekend at Tennoji Park in Tennoji Ward, Osaka.

From Sept. 16 to Sept. 18, there will be about 50 booths selling popular foods and products. There will also be concerts with pop musicians, demonstrations of Muay Thai kickboxing, performances of traditional music and dance, showings of the recent hit movie "Tom Yum Goong" and a lottery offering such prizes as a round-trip ticket to Thailand.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Entrance is free, but admission to the park costs 150 yen.

The venue is a five-minute walk from Tennoji Station on the JR Kanjo Line or the Tanimachi or Midosuji subway lines, or from Abeno Station on the Kintetsu Line.

For details, call the organizer at (06) 6262-9226, or visit the Web site of the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Osaka at www.thai-kansai.net

Foreign women discuss international families:
The Osaka Gender Equality Foundation is inviting English-speaking non-Japanese women to its monthly discussion meeting from noon to 2 p.m. next Saturday at Osaka Prefectural Women's Center, or Dawn Center, in Chuo Ward, Osaka.

The discussion group will focus on common problems facing foreign women, including those pertaining to cultural differences, employment and child care. Participants will exchange information and experiences.

This month's theme is children and families with multicultural backgrounds. It can be enriching and challenging to raise children in a country where at least one parent is not native. Participants will discuss the special joys and concerns faced by women who raise international families.

The discussion will be facilitated by psychotherapist Joanna Sato.

Participation is free. No reservation is required.

To get to the venue, walk 350 meters east from Tenmabashi Station on the Tanimachi subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6910-8588.

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