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Bonfires to set Kyoto mountainsides alight

Huge bonfires will be lit on five mountains in Kyoto next Friday, the last day of the Bon festival, to speed the spirits of ancestors on their way.

They will be set alight at 8 p.m. on Daimonji, at 8:10 p.m. on Myoho, at 8:15 p.m. on Funagata and Hidari Daimonji, and at 8:20 p.m. on Toriigata. The fires will burn for around 30 minutes, and can be seen from various sites in the city of Kyoto.

For details, check out www.gozan-okuribi.com (in Japanese).

Osaka UNICEF group to hold Africa seminar

The Osaka Association for UNICEF will hold a seminar Aug. 24 on the problems Africa is facing.

A keynote speech by a Japanese newspaper reporter will be followed by a report from a former Japan International Cooperation Agency worker in Uganda, a panel discussion by four Ugandan students who are studying in a Japanese university, and a workshop.

The event in the city of Osaka will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is free of charge. It will be held at Osakashi Chuo Kokaido, a one-minute walk from Naniwabashi Station on the Keihan Nakanoshima Line.

Reservations must be made by calling 06-6645-5123 or sending an email to un@unicef-osaka.jp. Further details are available at www.unicef-osaka.jp/act/images/seminar2013.pdf (in Japanese).

Candlelight displays to illuminate Nara

Nara Park and some neighboring World Heritage sites will be illuminated with 50,000 candles from 7 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. through Wednesday, and 3,000 stone and metal lanterns will also be lit with candles in Kasuga Grand Shrine from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

For information about the Nara Park and related events visit www.toukae.jp (in Japanese) or dial 0180-997-515. For the Kasuga shrine illuminations check out www.kasugataisha.or.jp/calendar/summer08.html#1 (in Japanese) or phone 0742-22-7788.

To access the venues, take a city loop bus from the JR or Kintetsu Nara stations.

Storytelling, concert events at Nagoya garden

Nagoya’s Tokugawaen garden will be open until 8:30 p.m., later than usual, until Wednesday, and visitors can enjoy “rakugo” and “kodan” storytelling shows Saturday and Sunday, and concerts Tuesday and Wednesday.

Admission costs ¥300 for adults, university and high school students. The garden is a 10-minute walk from Ozone Station on the JR Chuo Line.

More details are available at www.tokugawaen.city.nagoya.jp/01_event/index.html (in Japanese) or by calling 052-935-8988.

Summer festivals to break out across Aichi

Summer festivals will take place from Saturday to Aug. 18 all over Aichi Prefecture.

They will be held in Toyota (www.citytoyota-kankou-jp.org/spot/94/; dial 0565-62-1272), in Minamichita (www.kokorokai123.com/; phone 0569-62-0797), in Nishio (www.240kanko.com/?p=2985; call 0563-65-2169), and in Shinshiro (www.aichi-kanko.jp/search/detail.asp?id=1477; dial 0536-23-7634), among other towns.