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Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

Nakanoshima display brightens up Osaka

The illumination event Osaka Hikari Renaissance 2007 will be held in the Nakanoshima district of Kita Ward in Osaka through Dec. 25.

The event features a 13-meter Christmas tree donated from Norway at the front of Osaka City Hall, and a display to the south of around 200,000 white, blue, red and green lights that form a bright arcade. There are also stalls selling snacks and beverages in the Nakanoshima Park's Rose Garden. The display will run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The highlight of the event is Wall Tapestry, a light show that projects magnificent images onto the face of the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library. The 10-minute show starts at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Admission is free. The venue is accessible on foot from Yodoyabashi Station on the Midosuji subway line or Kitahama Station on the Sakaisuji subway line.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6373-8790, or access its Japanese Web site at www.hikari-renaissance.com/

German-style market in Umeda Sky Building

A Christmas market featuring German-style attractions and products is being hosted through Dec. 25 at Wonder Square, the inner court of the Umeda Sky Building in Kita Ward, Osaka.

Attractions include a 27-meter-tall Christmas tree illuminated with 100,000 lights and an antique merry-go-round from Germany to enjoy the holiday season. Items on sale include a wide rage of Christmas ornaments and traditional German handicrafts, as well as sausages, beer, hot spiced wine, soup and smoked ham sandwiches.

The market is open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and from noon to 10 p.m. from Friday to Sunday.

The venue is a 10-minute walk from JR Osaka Station or Umeda Station on the Hankyu railway line.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6440-3901 or access the venue's Web site at www.skybldg.co.jp/

Osaka aquarium Santa swims with dolphins

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in Minato Ward, Osaka, is holding a special seasonal event daily through Dec. 25.

A diver dressed as Santa Claus will appear in the Tasman Sea tank, home to the aquarium's pacific white-sided dolphins, five times a day to swim with the dolphins, wave at visitors and pose for photographs.

The diver will appear at 10:50 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:50 p.m.

Admission is ¥2,000 for adults, ¥900 for elementary and junior high school students and ¥400 for children aged 4 and older.

The aquarium is a five-minute walk from Osakako Station on the Chuo subway line and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, contact the aquarium at (06) 6576-5501 or access its Web site at www.kaiyukan.com/

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