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Kyoto’s famed Aoi Festival kicks off Thursday

The Aoi Festival, one of the three major annual festivals in Kyoto, will take place Thursday.

A parade of people wearing traditional costumes leading and riding horses and oxen will start from Kyoto Imperial Palace at 10:30 a.m., stop by at Shimogamo Shrine on the way, and arrive at Kamigamo Shrine at 3:30 p.m.

The Kyoto Imperial Palace is a five-minute walk from Imadegawa Station on the Karasuma subway line.

For more details, visit www.kyokanko.or.jp/aoi/index.html (in Japanese), or call 075-752-7070.

Open day at Kobe German/European school

Deutsche Schule Kobe/European School in Kobe will host an open day on Wednesday for those who are interested in getting to know more about the school.

Reservations for the event, which will run between 9:45 a.m. and noon, are required by Monday and can be made by calling 078-857-9777 or sending an email to mail@dskobe.org.

The school is a two-minute walk from Island Center Station on the Rokko Liner line.

More details are available at dskobe.org (in English).

Free legal help for foreigners in Nishinomiya

Nishinomiya City International Association in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, will provide foreign residents with opportunities to attend a free legal counseling service by judicial scriveners from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 18.

Translation will be available. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 0798-32-8680.

The venue is close to Nishinomiya Station on the JR Tokaido line.

To learn more about the session, check www.nishi.or.jp/homepage/nia/pdf/houritu_e.pdf (in English).

30,000 irises in bloom at temple in Aichi

Visitors to Chiryu, Aichi Prefecture, can enjoy the iris festival until May 26 in Yatsuhashi Kakitsubata-en (Iris Garden) in Muryojuji Temple.

The garden, which has about 30,000 irises, is an eight-minute walk from Mikawa Yatsuhashi Station on the Meitetsu Mikawa line.

Further information is available at www.city.chiryu.aichi.jp/0000000764.html (in Japanese). The contact number is 0566-81-4028.

Nagoya shrine festival to showcase float, dolls

The Wakamiya Festival will take place Thursday and Friday in Nagoya. During the event, a float with four mechanical dolls will be paraded. Admission is free.

The venue is Wakamiya Hachiman Shrine near Yabacho Station on the Meijo subway line.

To find out more about the festival, check www.nagoya-info.jp/event/center/post_105.html (in Japanese) or call 052-241-0810.