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Kyoto temple to host tatami ‘memorial service’

The Japan Tatami Industry Promotion Association will host the country’s first ever “memorial service” for the straw mats by burning them in Kyoto’s Shojokein Temple on Thursday.

The burning ritual will start at 2 p.m. and last about an hour, after which new mats will be presented to the first 20 visitors. Admission is free.

The temple is a 10-minute walk from Imadegawa Station on the Karasuma subway line.

For more information, please visit www.tatami.in (in Japanese) or dial (06) 4308-5115.

Shrine to re-enact Heian Period poem game

Visitors to Jonangu Shrine in Kyoto are invited to watch people in traditional dress from the Heian Period (794 to 1185) play a poetry writing game along a small river in its garden on April 29.

During the “Kyokusui no Utage” game, which starts at 2 p.m., the first person floats a cup of sake in the stream, the second person writes a poem before the cup arrives, and the rest follow suit.

Admission is free. The shrine is a 15-minute walk from Takeda Station on the Kintetsu Kyoto Line and the Karasuma subway line.

For further details, check out www.jonangu.com (in Japanese) or call (075) 623-0846.

Live bands to rock house at Nara McDonald’s

The Kyoto-Nara EU Association will host a Music Festa show in a McDonald’s restaurant in Nara on Sunday featuring four Japanese bands.

The concert is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free, but participants must make a purchase at the restaurant, which is in the Higashimuki arcade near Kintetsu Nara Station.

Pleas visit eurokn.seesaa.net/article/353690874.html (in Japanese) for more information.

Nagoya to hold Belgian beer festival in May

Nagoya will host a Belgian Beer Weekend from next Friday through May 6 so people can enjoy various types of brews along with food and live music.

The event will run from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free, but food and drink tickets must be purchased at the event.

The venue is Hisaya Square in Hisaya Odori Park, close to Yabacho Station on the Meijo subway line.

Further information is available at www.belgianbeerweekend.jp/en/2013/nagoya/home (in English) or by calling (03) 5829-6878.

Follow wedding route of 17th century princess

Over 800 people in kimono will parade from Atsuta Shrine to Nagoya Castle on Sunday to re-trace the route taken in 1615 by Princess Haruhime and her followers when she married Tokugawa Yoshinao, the first lord of the castle.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and run through 4:30 p.m. A ceremony will be held afterward.

Participation is free, but there is a ¥500 charge to enter Nagoya Castle.

Atsuta Shrine is a three-minute walk from Jingumae Station on the Meitetsu Line, while the castle is a five-minute walk from Shiyakusho Station on the Meijo subway line.

For more details, visit www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/out_and_about/out_and_about_en.pdf (in English) or call (052) 778-6910.