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JAN 2006 :: 068

 

Karuta Hajime

KYOTO Jan 3

First card game of the year — karuta is played in most homes during this New Year holiday season. Unlike other cards, these are illustrated with pictures and poems, or characters and proverbs, or flowers. In the game being played at this shrine, the women players all dress in Heian court costumes to bring a touch of history to the event.

The cards are spread out on the floor and a reader reads the first part of a poem and the object of the game is for the players to search for the card on which the last part is wri-tten. The game is considered stimulating, educational and competitive. It also seems to require some amazingly speedy hand and wrist movements to flick the right card off the floor before your opponent does.

Yasaka-Shrine
Time: From 1pm (usually no more than two hours)
Getting there: City Bus 206 to Gion
Tel: 075-561-6155

Winter program of The Kobe Science Museum Planetarium

KOBE Until Mar 5


This planetarium has different projects for each season. This season's program details an approxima-te seven-year circular orbit of Saturn taken from the American satellite, Cassini.
On a powerful large screen projector, sky watchers can also see the latest surface images of Titan, one of Saturn's moons, taken from the satellite Huygens. The planetarium theatre has been a gateway for people to be in touch with the latest discoveries in astronomy and space. It gives an opportunity to experience a variety of scientific phenomenon and there are lot of exhibits to look at too.

Planetarium program times:
Weekdays: 10am • 11:20am • 1pm • 2:20pm • 3:30pm.
Sat, Sun & national holidays: 11am • 12:40pm • 1:50pm • 3pm
• 4:10pm

Kobe Science Museum Planetarium
Time: Weekdays 9:30am-4:30pm.
Sat, Sun and national holidays 10am-5pm.
Closed on Wednesdays. Reopens Jan 4 after New Year holiday
Getting there: Minami Koen stn
Admission: Exhibition room, Adult ¥600/Child ¥300.
Planetarium Adult ¥400/child ¥200
Tel: 078-301-5177

Vienna Walzer Orchestra
New Year Concert

OSAKA Jan 18

Founded in 1990 by the conductor Sandro Cuterello, the members of this ensemble share a common desire to perform the Viennese waltz in its perfect form. The finest pieces by Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and others will be performed. Soprano Anna Peshes, ballet dancers and musicians will transport the audience back on a nostalgic trip through the 18th century and to the merry parties of fin de siecle Vienna. This promises to be an entertaining evening of operetta, waltz, polka, galop and Csardas, a Hun-garian folk dance.

Sayaka Hall
Time: 7pm
Getting there: Nankai Koya line, Osaka Sayama-shi stn
Admission: ¥4,500. At the door ¥5,000
Tel: 072-365-8700

Getaway in the Heart of Yuzu Country

KYOTO Until Mar 31

The folks of Mizuo, an out-of-the-way district in rural Kyoto, know how to deal with this season of piercing cold. This area specializes in growing yuzu, a type of mandarin orange, which needless to say, plays a part in the fight against the cold. Their remedy for the cold? First soak in a refre-shing bath filled with yuzu, then enjoy a hot meal of Mizutaki, the speciality of the area. This is a kind of chicken and vegetable soup with soya sauce and yuzu added to give it that special taste or Sukiyaki with a zest of yuzu, Mizuo-style. The villagers swear this will give full protection from the cold for the rest of the day. (Goodbye Kairo pocket warmers!)

This very old, remote village comprising of forty graceful houses is considered more refined than rustic. Located at the western foot of Mt. Atago (924m) it has long been a place for quiet seclusion with breathtaking scenery. Emperor Seiwa who is said to be one of the first warrior of the Genji clan, rests here and the people of the village have maintained the emperor's tomb and shrine for more that 1,000 years, as well as some old traditional customs and administrative system.

Yuzu no Sato, Mizuo
Time: 11am-3pm
Getting there: 4km walk from JR line, Hozukyo stn or catch the village bus in the morning (close on Sundays)
Admission: ¥5,000 (includes meal and bath)
For reservation Tel: 075-861-2376

Events compiled by Mylene Oishi

Kansai Event Listings January

Jan 3, 4 & 22
Mozart
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart, the Prague State Opera will per-form two pieces of this great composer's works at two different locations. On top of that Biwako Hall also offers the first of two lecture-concerts. The concert is to be performed by Quartetto Classico.

01/03: Le Nozze di Figara, Festival Hall at 2pm
Getting there: Yotsubashi subway line, Higobashi stn
Admission: ¥7,500~¥20,000
Tel: 06-6231-2221

01/04: Don Quixote, Biwako Hall at 6pm
Admission: ¥9,000~¥16,000

01/22: Lecture concert at 2pm
Getting there: Otsu stn, Shiga
Admission: Adult ¥3,500. Under 25 ¥1,500. Both lectures ¥5,500
Tel: 077-523-7133
http://www.biwako-hall.or.jp/

Jan 9
Comic Treasure Episode 7
Features an exhibition and sale of a wide range of coterie magazines and there will also be costume playing events, commonly known as cosplay.
Intex Osaka
Time: 11am-3pm
Getting there: Subway Chuo line,
Cosmos Square stn
Admission: ¥600
Tel: 03-3225-8102

Jan 10-until March
Dwarf Plum Tree Exhibition
A giant plum tree of more than two meters in height and a plum tree aged over 400 years old are on display. The exhibition is said to be one of the most famous for plum trees for its sheer size and historical background.
Keiun-kan, Nagahama City
Time: 9am-5pm
Getting there: JR line, Nagahama stn
Admission: ¥500
Tel: 0749-62-4111

Jan 14
Funa-danjiri
A colourfully adorned katsuo, bonito fishing boat is placed upon a danjiri float with some 30 or so young people aboard holding fishing poles with model katsuo on the end of the lines. As it is paraded through the town the young people ener-getically and raucously swing their katsuo in a wonderful display of bravado.
Kii-nagashima, Mie
Time: From 2pm
Getting there: JR Kisei line,
Kii Nagashima stn
Tel: 05974-7-0600

Jan 15
Itzhak Perlman
Perlman will give a violin recital accom-panied by Rohan De Silva on the piano. He will play pieces by Bach, Faure and others. The Jaffa-born musician contra-cted polio at the age of four, leaving him on crutches, and compelling him to play the violin seated.
The Festival Hall
Time: 2pm
Admission: ¥10,000 & ¥15,000
Tel: 06-6453-6000

Jan 15
Toshiya
In the Edo period warriors competed in an archery contest to see who could shoot arrows the length of the long, narrow hall of this temple without hitting the walls, floor or ceiling. This event has now turned into a national archery tour-nament and takes place every year on Coming-of-Age-Day.
Sanusangendo-Temple, Kyoto
Time: 9am~afternoon
Getting there: City bus 206/208 to Hakubutsu-kan Sanjusangendo-mae
Tel: 075-561-0467

Jan 17
Hanshin-Awaji 1.17
January 17, 1995. Lest we forget this is the anniversary of the day the Great Han-shin-Awaji Earthquake struck, devastating Hyogo and the lives of millions of people. Every year this memorial service is held. Thousands turn out to light a candle which is placed in a bamboo holder. Altogether the numerous lights form the figure 1.17. Also on this day, in front of the monument in the park, citizens will gather with the purpose of handing down the experiences of the Great Earthquake. Speeches and talks are scheduled.
Higashi Yuen-Chi Park
Time: 5:45am till late
Getting there: JR/Hankyu line, Sannomiya stn
Tel: 078-331-8181

Jan 20
Piano Elegance
French pianist Erik Berchot will entertain with all genre of music from Carmen to the Beatles, from Mozart to Chaplin.
Nara Centennial Hall
Time: 7pm
Getting there: JR line, Nara stn
Admission: ¥3,000
Tel: 0742-34-0111

Jan 21
Hatsu-Kobo
A fair called Kobo-san is held every year to commemorate the founder of the temple, Kobo-Daishi. The Kobo-san in January is specifically called Hatsu-Kobo, the first Kobo. Numerous stalls are set up.
Toji-in temple
Time: 8am-5pm
Getting there: Kintetsu line, Toji stn
Tel: 075-691-3325

Jan 21 & 22
Ballet
The Leningrad State Ballet will perform Swan Lake and Don Quixote in memory of Mussorgsky, a Russian composer.
Hyogo Performing Arts Center
21st: Swan Lake, 22nd: Don Quixote
Time: 2pm
Getting there: Hankyu line, Nishinomiya Kitaguchi stn
Admission: ¥4,000~¥12,000
Tel: 0798-68-0255

Jan 29
Osaka Intn'l Ladies Marathon
An annual marathon event for internatio-nal female athletes. In the past the goal was reached in just over two hours.
Nagai Stadium
Time: 12:30pm
Getting there: Midosuji line, Nagai stn
Tel: 06-6633-9267

Jan 30
Foreigners' Views Conference
This is a conference where the moderators will engage a panel of foreign participants to share views about how to present Osaka city more efficiently. Looking ahead to the future, important aim of this gather- ing is also to establish how to convey the fascination of Osaka to the International Community. Organized by Mebic Ogimachi.
Ogimachi Incubation Plaza
(Mebic Ogimachi)
Conference time: 6pm-8:30pm
Casual party: 8:30pm-9:30pm
Getting there: Sakaisuji line, Okimachi stn
Admission: ¥2,000
Registration & contact Tel: 06-6316-8780, fax: 06-6316-8781
http://www.mebic.com/

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