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Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011

KANSAI: Who & What

Kyoto's cultural halls to host free concerts

A number of free concerts will take place in Kyoto's cultural halls in January, February and March.

The first event, a concert performed by a local mandolin ensemble and chorus group, will be held from 2 p.m. Sunday at Tobu Bunka Kaikan hall in Yamashina Ward.

Other venues and events include Kuretake Bunka Center in Fushimi Ward, with classical music on Feb. 13 and "taiko" drums on Feb. 24, Nishi Bunka Kaikan hall in Nishikyo Ward, with a concert featuring Bach's music on Feb. 11 and a choral concert on March 27, Kita Bunka Kaikan hall in Kita Ward, with a chorus and opera concert on Feb. 13 and Indian-style dancing on March 11, and Ukyo Freai Bunka Kaikan hall in Ukyo Ward, with an orchestra concert on Feb. 11.

Admission is free and no advance reservations are required. There will be between 400 and 600 seats, depending on the venue.

Visit www.city.kyoto.lg.jp/bunshi/page/0000091964.html (in Japanese) or contact the organizer, Kyoto City Music Art Cultural Promoting Foundation, at (075) 711-2980 for further details, including the programs and start times of each concert.

Hilton Osaka celebrates new year French-style

Hilton Osaka in Kita Ward is planning an event on Jan. 27 featuring Galette des Rois, a traditional French cake to celebrate the new year.

Galette des Rois, or "kings' cake" in English, is filled with almond cream and has a small trinket hidden in it. The person who finds the trinket in their slice is said to enjoy good luck throughout the year.

The event, named "Galette des Rois pour les Grands," will be held in the first-floor lobby lounge, The In Place, from 6:30 p.m. There will be a buffet of French foods and wine in addition to Galette des Rois, and the person who finds the trinket will receive a restaurant coupon from the hotel.

Tickets cost ¥5,500. The hotel is a two-minute walk from JR Osaka Station or a five-minute walk from Umeda Station on the Midosuji subway line.

For reservations and more information, contact the hotel at (06) 6347-0310.

Kyoto center to hold forum on modern Japan

The International Research Center for Japanese Studies will hold a forum on modern Japan from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto.

Aida Suleymenova, assistant professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies of Far Eastern National University in Russia, will give a talk in Japanese titled "Modern Japan in the Works of Russian Refugees."

The venue is the conference room on the third floor of HeartPia Kyoto, which is near Exit 5 of Marutamachi Station on the Karasuma subway line. The venue will open at 1:30 p.m.

Participation is free and no advance applications are necessary. There will be 180 seats.

For further information, contact the center at (078) 335-2078, or access www.nichibun.ac.jp/ (in Japanese and English).

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