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Sunday, May 27, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

Scrabble competition to be held for fans in Kobe

Competitors are being sought for a Scrabble competition to be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 24 on the fourth floor of Kobe Crystal Tower in Chuo Ward.

The event is being organized by Kobe Systematized Goodwill Guides Club, a volunteer interpreters' group, with the goal of promoting friendship between Japanese and foreign players of the popular board game. Participation is free.

The venue is a three-minute walk from JR Kobe Station.

Fore more information, call the organizer at (078) 291-8442 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Evening calls between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. should be made to (078) 785-2898 on any day of the week.

Gamelan performance and lecture in Kyoto

IMA Project, an art event management and planning organization, will hold a performance and a lecture on the gamelan, a traditional Indonesian instrument, in Kyoto on June 6.

Franki Raden, a philosopher and a gamelan performer, and Tomoko Yoshida, who studies the instrument under Raden, will give a lecture on the theme "Gamelan in the Postmodern World" and perform on the instrument.

The event will start at 6:30 p.m. at Kyoto City International Community House in Sakyo Ward. Admission is 3,000 yen for adults and 1,500 yen for students.

Those who want to take part must pay in advance via the organizer's bank account, which is 2589601, a regular ("futsuu") account at Mizuho Bank's Shibuya Chuo branch. The handling charge will be paid by the organizer.

For more information, fax IMA Project at (075)212-3176 or send e-mail to imaprjct@jasmine.ocn.ne.jp

Annual Takigi Noh to be held in Kyoto

Kyoto Takigi Noh, a series of annual outdoor noh performances, will be held June 1 and June 2 at Heian Shrine in Kyoto's Sakyo Ward.

Three noh and a "kyogen" comical short drama will be performed on a special stage illuminated by torchlight. The noh plays are from popular programs. The contents of the show will differ each day. The performance starts 5:30 p.m.

Admission is 2,500 yen in advance and 3,000 yen at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at Ticket Pia ticket agency and Lawson convenience stores.

The event will be postponed if it rains. For more information, call the organizer at (075) 752-9022.

One-day guided tours offered by volunteer

A volunteer guide tour interpreter is organizing two one-day tours in Kyoto for English-speaking foreigners in June.

On June 10, participants will visit Fushimi Inari Shrine in Fushimi Ward to observe a rice-planting ritual. A group of men and women dressed as traditional farmers will plant rice in a sacred paddy within the precincts of the shrine, with women in ancient costumes dancing in front of them, praying for a good harvest for the year.

Participants are required to pay the actual cost of the tour, which will be around 1,400 yen for train fare and lunch. Another 1,000 yen will be accepted as a gratuity.

On June 20, participants will visit Kurama Temple in Sakyo Ward to observe a traditional bamboo cutting competition ceremony. Monks, divided into two groups, will compete the speed to cut bamboos to forecast this year's harvest.

Participants are required to pay the actual cost of the tour, which will be around 2,000 yen for transportation fare and lunch. Another 1,000 yen will be accepted as a gratuity.

Participants in each tour will meet guide Paul Satoh at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Tourist Information Office on the second floor of the JR Kyoto Station building.

Reservations must be made in advance. The event is reserved for non-Japanese only. For reservations and more information, fax Satoh at (072)831-2797.

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