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Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008

KANSAI: Who & What

Kids Plaza Osaka plans festival for New Year

Kids Plaza Osaka, a children's museum in Kita Ward, will hold various New Year's events from Jan. 3 through Jan. 12.

Live performances of the "shishimai" (Chinese lion dance), "Nankin tama sudare," a kind of traditional Japanese street performance using bamboo screens, and Japanese drums will be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 3 and 4 in the Kids Plaza Hall on the fifth floor. No reservations are required, but the space is limited to 110 people on a first-come, first-served basis.

In front of the hall, traditional Japanese toys often played with at the start of the new year, such as paper kites and spinning tops, will be prepared for kids.

The venue is near exit 2 of Ogimachi Station on the Sakaisuji subway line. Admission to the museum is ¥1,200 for adults, ¥600 for elementary and junior high school students, and ¥300 for children older than 3 years old.

For more information and details on the other events, contact the museum at (06) 6311-6601, or check its Web site at www.kidsplaza.or.jp/ (in Japanese).

Senri Toastmasters to hold demo in Toyonaka

The Senri Toastmasters Club, a branch of the international organization in Toyonaka, Osaka, invites observers to attend a demonstration meeting it will hold on Jan. 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The meeting is aimed at those who want to improve their communication skills in English. Participation is free, but an advance application is required by phone or e-mail.

The venue is Senri Kominkan (Senri Community House), which is near Senri Chuo Station on the Kita Osaka Kyuko Railway Line.

For further information and applications, contact the branch office at (06) 6855-6455 or send an e-mail message to senritoastmaster@gmail.com

Osaka aquarium to put penguins on display

Kaiyukan aquarium in Minato Ward, Osaka, will be displaying penguins in an open-air cage every day until Jan. 7, and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from Jan. 8 to Feb. 8.

In front of the aquarium building, eight king penguins, one of the four species shown at Kaiyukan, will be housed in a special cage. These birds are usually kept in a huge tank inside the building.

The flightless birds occasionally get the opportunity to leave the cage and take a 70-meter walk to another display area where their keepers introduce them and answer questions from the audience.

The display runs between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The 20-minute procession will be made three times a day at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

The event is free of charge. Admission to the aquarium, which is a five-minute walk from Osaka-ko Station on the Chuo subway line, is ¥2,000 for adults, ¥900 for elementary and junior high students, and ¥400 for children 4 and older.

For more information, check the aquarium's Web site at www.kaiyukan.com/contact or call the organizer at (06) 6576-5501.

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