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Sunday, Sept. 2, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

Foreign guide offering sumo, Lake Biwa tours

A volunteer interpreter is organizing two tours for English-speaking foreigners interested in seeing the unique ritual for boys' sumo matches at Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto on Sept. 9, and the area around Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture on Sept. 14.

Various fees are required to make the trip, including ¥500 for a round-trip ride on the city bus, ¥1,000 for lunch, and a ¥1,000 gratuity for the guide. The ritual at the shrine in Kita Ward has been registered by the ancient capital as an intangible cultural asset.

For the Sept. 14 tour, ¥2,000 will be required for the round-trip excursion by Japan Railways train, ¥1,000 for lunch, and ¥1,000 for the guide. Participants will enjoy walking around Lake Biwa and visit a bamboo charcoal factory in the area.

On both days, participants will meet guide Paul Satoh at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Tourist Information Office, which is 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.

British Council to hold seminar for teachers

The British Council, the U.K.'s cultural relations organization, will hold a seminar for teachers on Sept. 15 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The title of the seminar is "What we achieve through education for international understanding." Margot Brown, head of Center for Global Education located in York, will talk about the importance of international understanding promotion in today's education.

This seminar is reserved for teachers who work at elementary, junior high, or high schools, and others who are also in the field of education. It will be in English with Japanese interpretation.

Fax or e-mail your name, mailing address, affiliation (such as the name of school that you work for), telephone number, e-mail address, and the date of the event (Sept. 15). Thirty-five people will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6342-5301. For registrations, fax at (06) 6342-5311, or e-mail school-links.osaka@britishcouncil.or.jp

Lacquered chopsticks shown at Namba Walk

Namba Walk, an underground shopping arcade in Chuo Ward, Osaka, will showcase beautifully lacquered chopsticks made in the Wakasa area of Obama City, Fukui Prefecture, from Sept. 15 to 17 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wakasa's "nuri-bashi" (lacquered chopsticks) date back 400 years and account for 80 percent of all lacquered chopsticks sold in Japan today. At this event, around 150 sets of chopsticks will be on display in Namba Walk's Kujira Park zone.

Workshops for experiencing the lacquering process are also scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. daily for two people on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring a receipt showing that a purchase of over ¥1,000 had been made at shops in the arcade.

The arcade can be accessed directly from Namba Station on the Midosuji Subway Line, or from Nihonbashi Station on the Sakaisuji and Sennichimae subway lines.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6643-1866, or visit the Japanese Web site at walk.osaka-chikagai.jp/

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