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Sunday, July 8, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

English guided tours of Kyoto's Gion area

The Kyoto City Tourist Association is offering English-guided tours of Kyoto every Friday in July, August and September.

The tours are for both English-speaking tourists and Japanese who are studying English.

The tour will take in the attractions of Gion, one of Kyoto's most traditional and elegant districts, with a professional English-speaking guide who will talk about the history and tradition of the area. Participants will have the opportunity to see for themselves the graceful figures of "geiko" and "maiko" going to or coming from work along Gion's delicately lit streets and alleys.

Reservations are not required. Participants will meet their guide at 5:30 p.m. in front of Kitaza (the vermilion-colored building), one street north of Shijo Dori, east of Kawabata Dori. This is one-minute walk from Shijo Station on the Keihan Line. The cost is 1,000 yen and must be paid in cash. The tour starts at 6 p.m. and takes around 90 minutes.

For more information, call the organizer at (075) 752-0227.

University fair for studying in Japan

The Japan Student Services Organization, an independent administrative institution, will hold a college guidance fair July 15 in Kita-ku, Osaka, for non-Japanese students wishing to study at Japanese universities.

The event is aimed at providing useful and updated information on universities' educational programs and requirements. Consultants from more than 100 universities and colleges will explain their programs.

The venue, Grand Cube Osaka, is a 12-minute walk from Fukushima Station on the JR Kanjosen Line, or from Awaza Station on the Subway Sennnichimae Line. Participation is free and reservations are not required. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Further details can be found at www.jasso.go.jp/

For more information, contact the organizer at (078) 242-1742

Summertime activities event in Kyoto

The Kyoto International Community Foundation is organizing a summer evening event July 15 at Kyoto International Community House.

The event is open to anyone who is interested in learning how to wear "yukata" summer kimono and to perform the "goshu ondo" Bon dance. Summer kimono sessions will take place three times: 9:30 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. 10 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The goshu ondo Bon dance, a type of summer dance that originated in Shiga Prefecture and is based on paeans to the gods, will be held in the open space of the house from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The restaurant in the open space will sell finger foods and wine.

The venue is a six-minute walk northwest of Keage Station on the Subway Tozai Line. More details can be found at www.kcif.or.jp/ in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Japanese.

For more information, contact the organizer at (075) 752-3155 or e-mail office@kcif.or.jp

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