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.
Time: From 1pm (usually no more than two hours)
Getting there: City Bus 206 to Gion
Winter program of The Kobe Science Museum
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 •
Sat, Sun & national holidays: 11am • 12:40pm •
1:50pm • 3pm
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
Vienna Walzer Orchestra
New Year Concert
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
Getting there: Nankai Koya line, Osaka Sayama-shi stn
Admission: ¥4,500. At the door ¥5,000
Getaway in the Heart of Yuzu Country
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
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
Kansai Event Listings January
Jan 3, 4 & 22
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.
Getting there: Yotsubashi subway line, Higobashi stn
Getting there: Otsu stn, Shiga
Admission: Adult ¥3,500. Under 25 ¥1,500. Both lectures
Features an exhibition and sale of a wide range of coterie
magazines and there will also be costume playing events,
commonly known as cosplay.
Getting there: Subway Chuo line,
Cosmos Square stn
Jan 10-until March
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
Getting there: JR line, Nagahama stn
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.
Time: From 2pm
Getting there: JR Kisei line,
Kii Nagashima stn
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
Admission: ¥10,000 & ¥15,000
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.
Getting there: City bus 206/208 to Hakubutsu-kan Sanjusangendo-mae
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
French pianist Erik Berchot will entertain with all genre
of music from Carmen to the Beatles, from Mozart to Chaplin.
Nara Centennial Hall
Getting there: JR line, Nara stn
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.
Getting there: Kintetsu line, Toji stn
Jan 21 & 22
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
Getting there: Hankyu line, Nishinomiya Kitaguchi stn
An annual marathon event for internatio-nal female athletes.
In the past the goal was reached in just over two hours.
Getting there: Midosuji line, Nagai stn
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
Conference time: 6pm-8:30pm
Casual party: 8:30pm-9:30pm
Getting there: Sakaisuji line, Okimachi stn
Registration & contact Tel: 06-6316-8780, fax: 06-6316-8781