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Sunday, July 22, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

Experience noh for real at Kyoto Kanze Kaikan

Kyoto Kanze Kaikan is offering the opportunity to perform noh on July 28.

Two hours before the 3 p.m. performance of the noh play "Momiji Gari," visitors can experience performing "shimai" noh dances and "utai" noh songs, wear costumes and hold props with junior noh actors giving explanations.

In the lobby on the first floor, various noh masks and "shozoku" costumes will be on display. The actors will explain what they represent. Except during the performance of "Momiji Gari," visitors can take photographs during this event.

The venue is a five-minute walk north of Higashiyama Station on the Tozai Line. Admission is 2,000 yen for adults and 1,200 yen for students. Up to two elementary school students per adult can enter free.

For more information, contact Kyoto Kanze Kaikan at (075) 771-6114 or visit the Web site at www.kyoto-kanze.jp/

Free ensemble concerts in Shiga Prefecture

Biwako Hall in Shiga Prefecture is hosting free vocal ensemble concerts from 11:30 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 31.

Biwako Hall Vocal Ensemble was established in March 1998 and performs in various opera productions in addition to four annual concerts. For this event, Tetsuya Okumura is conducting with Sakiko Okamoto on piano. Familiar tunes such as "Bugler's Holiday" by Leroy Anderson, often heard at Japanese school sports day events, "Hakone Hachiri," an old Japanese song first listed in a school song booklet in 1901, and "Do-Re-Mi" from the "The Sound of Music" will be performed.

The hall is a 20-minute walk from Otsu Station on the JR Biwako Line. Advance reservations are not required.

For more information, contact the organizer at (077) 523-7152.

Rare opening of Osaka Castle's treasure house

The treasure house at Osaka Castle, which is normally closed, will be open to the public from July 28 to Aug. 5.

The treasure house was used to store gold and silver coins of the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo Period (11603-1867), which is why it was built with interesting security features, including breast walls covered with square tiles jointed with raised plaster. The main treasure houses for the shogunate were located only in Edo Castle and Osaka Castle, and now only the one in Osaka remains.

The hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission for adults is 200 yen for the treasure house and 700 yen for both the treasure house and the castle's main tower. Admission to both the treasure house and the main tower is free for junior school students and younger.

The venue is a 20-minute walk from Osaka Jo Koen Station on the JR Osaka Kanjosen Line or from Osaka Jo Kitazume Station on the JR Tozai Line.

For more information, contact the Osaka Castle office at (06) 6941-3044.

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