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Sunday, June 17, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

Major antique fair set for Kyoto

The 38th Grand Antique Fair will be held June 29 to July 1 at Kyoto Sogo Mihon Ichi hall, also known as Pulse Plaza, in Fushimi Ward.

About 350 antique shops will exhibit more than 1.5 million items, including folding screens, hanging scrolls, tea ceremony utensils, ukiyo-e paintings, ceramic wares, antique kimono and Western-style antiques.

The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. To get to the venue, take the Kintetsu railway or subway lines from Kyoto Station to Takeda Station. A free shuttle bus service will be available from exit 4 at Takeda Station.

For more information, contact the organizer at (077) 522-2307 or visit its Web site at www.gomoku-do.com/

Umeda Sky Building's big 'tanabata' event

Umeda Sky Building in Kita Ward, Osaka, will host a "tanabata" star festival from June 22 to July 7.

The event, named Umeda Tanabata, will be one of the biggest tanabata festivals in the Kansai region. The Floating Garden Observatory on the building's 40th floor, 170 meters from the ground, will be decorated with traditional ornaments on the theme of "Tanabata festival closest to the starry sky."

Visitors will be able to write their wishes on "tanzaku," small pieces of paper, and hang them on bamboo, which is also a cherished tradition for the occasion. Colorful streamers used in the Sendai Tanabata Festival, a famous star festival in the Tohoku region, will also be displayed at the observatory.

Takimi Lane, the building's restaurant floor that reproduces an Osaka street from the early Showa Era, will be decorated with time-honored tanabata decorations, giving visitors a chance to feel an old-fashioned tanabata style.

The observatory is open 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is 700 yen.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6440-3901 or visit its Web site at www.skybldg.co.jp/garden/e/index.html (in English).

World Music Day on tap at Osaka museum

The National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, will host free concerts from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 24 as part of "Fete de la Musique au Japon," or World Music Day.

The event is a festival that began in France in 1981 to promote music. In support of the movement, free concerts will be organized at various places in Osaka Prefecture on June 21, 23 and 24.

The museum in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, will host concerts that feature various genres of music played by musicians from around the world.

Entrance to the museum is free June 24. The venue is a 15-minute walk from Banpaku Kinen Koen Station or from Koen Higashiguchi Station on the Osaka Monorail Line.

For more information on Fete de la Musique au Japon, visit www.mediatv.ne.jp/ongakunosaijitsu/

For details of the concerts held at the National Museum of Ethnology, call the organizer at (06) 6876-2151.

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