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Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010

KANSAI: Who & What

YWCA Senri organizing day trip to Echigawa

A day trip to Echigawa, Shiga Prefecture, organized by YWCA Senri's Bridges Program, will take place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Echigawa prospered during the Edo Period thanks to its location on the Nakasendo road that connected Kyoto and Edo.

Participants will visit Bintemari Exhibition Hall — a "bintemari" is a threaded ball made inside a round glass bottle — and then walk about 2 km to Fujii Sake Brewery. Participants will be able to sample fresh sake at the brewery, which has been in business since the late Edo Period. The tour will be held in English.

Participants will meet the Bridges Program staff at 10 a.m. at Ohmi Railway's Echigawa Station. Maps and directions to the station from participants' nearest train stations are available on request.

Advance applications are required by Dec. 12 via e-mail. Participation is free, but transportation and lunch are not included. Participants who are not Bridges Program members are required to pay ¥500 for a membership.

For advance applications and more information send an e-mail to the tour coordinator at usagi9999@yahoo.co.jp

Japanese-language classes held in Osaka

Japanese conversation classes will be held from mid-January to March in Tennoji Ward, Osaka.

Participants will learn basic expressions from certified Japanese-language teachers. The lessons will be held in Japanese only, but those who are studying Japanese for the first time are welcome to participate.

Level one and four classes will be held every Wednesday starting Jan. 12., while level two and three classes will take place every Tuesday from Jan. 11. Classes will be held weekly from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Each course has 12 classes in total.

Participants are required to take placement interviews in Japanese between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. this Tuesday and Wednesday. Advance reservations are necessary.

The cost is ¥5,000, which includes a textbook. The venue is International House, Osaka, a 10-minute walk from Tanimachi 9-chome Station on the Tanimachi subway line. An access map is available at www.ih-osaka.or.jp (in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese).

For advance reservations and further information, contact the Planning & Communication Division of the Osaka International Foundation at (06) 6773-8989.

Holiday festivities at Osaka aquarium, market

Kaiyukan Aquarium and Tempozan Market Place in Minato Ward, Osaka, are holding events to generate a festive atmosphere in December.

At Kaiyukan Aquarium, divers dressed like Santa Claus will entertain visitors daily until Dec. 26. The "Santa divers" will appear for 40 minutes starting at 11 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the Pacific Ocean water tank, which has two whale sharks. Tickets to the aquarium are ¥2,000 for adults, ¥900 for elementary and junior high school students, and ¥400 for children aged 4 and above.

In Tempozan Market Place, amateur and professional gospel singers will perform on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between Dec. 11 and 23. Three 30-minute shows will be held from 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. On Dec. 19, there will only be two shows, from 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is free.

For further information, access the organizer's website at www.kaiyukan.com/thv/ (in Japanese).

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