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Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006

KANSAI: Who & What

Penguins on parade at Kaiyukan aquarium

Kaiyukan aquarium in Minato Ward, Osaka, is showing some of its penguins in an open-air cage through Feb. 12.

Seven king penguins, one of the three species at the aquarium, will be housed in a special cage in Event Square outside the aquarium. Usually, the Antarctic birds are kept in a huge tank inside the building.

The birds will occasionally get the opportunity to leave the cage and take a walk on a 50-meter course, while their keepers will introduce them and answer questions from spectators. Visitors can take part in a drawing to be photographed with the penguins. Five groups of spectators will be offered the opportunity after each walk.

The procession will take place every Saturday, Sunday and national holiday until Feb. 12, plus daily from Dec. 23 to Jan. 8.

The 20-minute procession will be held three times a day until Jan. 8, at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and from Jan. 13, twice a day at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The open-air display will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day for the duration of the special event. Admission to the aquarium is not required.

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

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

Osaka's Nakanoshima lit up for the holidays

The Nakanoshima district in Kita Ward, Osaka, is being illuminated every evening through Dec. 26 as part of the city's Christmas celebration.

A 13-meter-tall Christmas tree, one of several sent from Norway to large cities around the world, has been set up in front of Osaka City Hall, glowing with 6,000 lights. Illuminations also decorate the streets and other locations in the district.

Several other seasonal attractions have begun, including a light and music show using the facade of the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library as a screen. The 10-minute program will be shown for free every 30 minutes between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends.

There will be a Christmas market, international food stalls, art displays and other events in Nakanoshima Park's Kensaki Square.

For more information, call the city at (06) 4860-7285 or visit its Web site at www.hikari-renaissance.com

Diplomats' photographs of Japan on display

Photographs taken in Japan by foreign diplomats are being shown at Umeda Sky Building in Kita Ward, Osaka.

About 70 photos taken by 49 diplomats from 29 countries are on display. The event has been held five times in Osaka and is aimed at showing Japan in the eyes of these careful observers, and the wide diversity of viewpoints resulting from the differences in the diplomats cultural backgrounds.

The venue is the observatory's gallery on the 40th floor of the building, which is a nine-minute walk from Osaka Station on the JR Line, or from Umeda Station on the Hankyu or subway Midosuji lines.

The exhibit is free of charge, but admission to the observatory costs 700 yen.

The event will run 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

For details, call the organizer at (06) 6440-3901 or the building's Web site at www.skybldg.co.jp



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