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Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

English tour takes in Koyasan temple town

A volunteer guide interpreter is organizing a tour for English-speaking foreigners to visit the Buddhist temple town of Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture on Aug. 18.

Mount Koya, or "Koyasan," was first settled by Kukai, the founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, in the ninth century. The Koyasan area is known as the headquarters of the Buddhist sect. Surrounded by a thick forest, it offers visitors a serene and cool atmosphere in summer.

Participants are required to pay ¥4,000 for round-trip fare, ¥1,000 for lunch, ¥1,000 for admission fees to the temples, and ¥1,000 as a gratuity for the guide.

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

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.

Street performers liven up Osaka's Tempozan

Tempozan Harbor Village, a shopping mall next to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in Minato Ward, Osaka, will hold the Tempozan World Performance Festival 2007 from Aug. 16 to 19.

This is the 17th annual event, which began in summer 1991. It gives visitors a chance to enjoy many types of street performances all at once.

Entertainment will be by 53 performers at various locations in the area from 11:30 a.m. to around 8 p.m. Aug. 16 to 18, and from 11:30 a.m. to around 5 p.m. Aug. 19, including giant puppet shows, mime wrestling, acrobatic shows, a human juke box performance, balloon twisting, and juggling. Eight of the performers are amateurs.

Closeup magic, which will be performed at this event for the first time this year, can also be enjoyed in three restaurants in the shopping mall from 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 16 and 17.

The venue is a five-minute walk north of Osakako Station on the Chuo subway line.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6576-5529.

Foreign extras sought for movie in Kyoto

Genki Production, a private film production agency, is seeking non-Japanese extras to appear in a movie to be filmed in Kyoto from late August to mid-September.

There are no age or gender restrictions. The audition will be 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 21 at Kyoto City International Foundation in Sakyo Ward. For those who cannot attend on Aug. 21, the date can be rescheduled with an advance request.

The filming will be from Aug. 24 to Sept. 16. Extras should participate at least one day during the schedule.

The science fiction movie is about what would happen if in the year 2030 there were no more native Kyoto residents, and only non-Japanese people remained to preserve Kyoto and its traditions.

The audition venue is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the Tozai subway line.

For an audition application and more information, phone the organizer at (075) 842-0001 or send e-mail to namikawa@genkipro.jp

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