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Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006

KANSAI: Who & What

Kaiyukan Aquarium's Christmas attractions

Kaiyukan Aquarium in Minato Ward, Osaka, is holding a Christmas-season event daily through Dec. 25.

A diver dressed as Santa Claus will appear in the 5,400-ton Pacific Ocean tank that is among the largest of its kind, home to 60 varieties of marine life including a whale shark and a giant manta, and in the Tasman Sea tank, which has three Pacific white-sided dolphins.

During the appearance, the diver will swim with the creatures, wave at the visitors, pose for photographs, play paper-rock-scissors with visitors and feed the dolphins in the Tasman Sea tank.

The diver appears three times a day in the Pacific tank, at 10:50 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3:50 p.m., and twice in the Tasman Sea, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each appearance in the Pacific tank will be 40 minutes long and 20 minutes long in the Tasman tank.

There will also be illuminations and decorations to celebrate Christmas in a large area around the aquarium.

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

The aquarium is open daily 10 a.m. and 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.

Attend Shinto ritual at ancient Aga Shrine

Osaka YWCA Senri Center is organizing an excursion for English-speaking foreigners Dec. 3 to a Shinto ritual at an ancient shrine in Shiga Prefecture.

Aga Shrine, also known as Tarobo-gu, in Higashiomi is 1,400 years old. The Dec. 3 event features burning of "gomaki" sacred wooden sticks, a rite to bring good fortune. Yamabushi mountain priests will burn 10,000 sticks and then walk barefoot on the embers. To get to the site, participants will climb about 740 stone steps. Legend has it that the giant rock in the precinct was split into two by divine power. It is said that only the honest can walk through the crevice, but the dishonest will be crushed.

Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at the ticket gate of JR Omihachiman Station.

Participation is 600 yen. Reservations must be made by Nov. 26.

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

British Council offering baroque music evening

The British Council Osaka office is inviting people who have returned from studying in Britain to an evening of baroque music and British wine 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 22 at the office in Kita Ward.

This is an event for UK Alumni Network, a community run by British Council for people with experience studying at universities and other schools in Britain. Through the network, they are encouraged to keep in touch with British culture and exchanges.

British violinist Simon Standage and Shinichiro Nakano, a cembalo player, will perform several baroque compositions and talk about the London music scene. After the talk, participants can converse with the guests over British wine.

Participation is 1,500 yen. Those who wish to attend must make reservations by sending an application with name, address, phone number, the name of the school attended in Britain, and what event to attend via e-mail at educationuk.osaka@britishcouncil.or.jp

For details, call the Osaka office at (06) 6342-5301.

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