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Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008

KANSAI: Who & What

Arashiyama set aglow by 2,600 lanterns

Thousands of lanterns are lighting up Kyoto's popular sightseeing Arashiyama sightseeing spot until Dec. 21.

From 5 to 8:30 p.m. daily, 2,600 traditional lanterns will illuminate the way from Hankyu Arashiyama Station to the bamboo grove near Nonomiya Shrine.

The of temples and shrines in the area will remain open longer and visitors will be able to view their illuminated structures and gardens.

Walking tours by English-speaking guides are held every day until Dec. 21. Participants will meet their guide at 4:30 p.m. in front of Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Electric Railroad Line, also known as Randen. The tour runs from 5 to around 6:30 p.m. The fee is ¥1,000 and no advance reservation is required.

For more information, contact the organizer, Kyoto Hanatouro Promotion Office, at hanatouro@kyo.or.jp, or visit their English-language Web site at www.hanatouro.jp/e/index.html

Biwako Hall slates mini 'Rigoletto' concert

A mini concert will take place from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 at Biwako Hall in Shiga Prefecture.

Baritone Akihiro Nishida, soprano Sachiko Nishida, pianist Keiichi Takahashi and violinist Masaharu Mayahara will perform "Cortigiani, vil razza dannata" and other songs from Verdi's opera "Rigoletto." The concert is scheduled to be broadcasted live on NHK TV.

No fee or reservation is required. The venue is a three-minute walk from Ishiba Station on the Keihan Railway Line.

For further information, contact the hall at (077) 523-7150.

Chuo Ward slates free concerts, bunraku talk

The Chuo Ward Office in the city of Osaka will host two free concerts in its lobby from 12:15 to 1 p.m. on Dec. 19 and 22.

The Dec. 19 concert includes a lecture on bunraku by puppeteer Kosuke Yoshida in Japanese and a performance by him and his fellow puppeteers.

On Dec. 22, a choir from Minami Elementary School's Lifelong Learning Program will sing Christmas songs, including "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Jingle Bells." The Gospel group Naniwa Black Peppers will sing "Oh Happy Days," "Joy to the World" and other songs.

No admission or application is required. The venue is a three-minute walk east of exit 3, Sakaisuji Honmachi Station on the Sakaisuji or Chuo subway lines.

For more information, contact the ward at (06) 6267-9845, or access www.city.osaka.jp/chuo/

Amnesty to screen Darfur documentary

Amnesty International Japan's Osaka office will show a documentary film about the war in Darfur, Sudan, from 12:40 to 2:20 p.m. on Dec. 20.

"Darfur Now," a 2007 film directed by Ted Braun, features the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region that started in 2003. The film, with English subtitles, is part of One World Festival, which will be held at the venue, Osaka International House, on Dec. 20 and 21.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 4395-1313, or e-mail fwht6821@mb.infoweb.ne.jp. For further information on One World Festival and an access map to the venue, visit www.interpeople.or.jp/owf/ (in Japanese).

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