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Gion Festival to hold both parades this year

The Gion Festival in Kyoto, one of the three biggest festivals in Japan, will continue until the end of July. A change in this year’s version is a return to the tradition of holding two major parades, on July 17 and 24.

For the last 48 years only one parade of floats has been held.

The parade on July 17 will start at 9 a.m. near Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line and Shijo Station on the Karasuma Line. The parade on July 24 will set out at 9:30 a.m. from near Karasuma Oike Station on the Karasuma Line.

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

Special concert by non-Japanese students

Foreign students will play classical, ethnic and contemporary music from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 12 at the Minoh Association for Global Awareness in Osaka Prefecture.

Listeners can also join the performance with their own instruments. Participation is free.

The association can be accessed by taking Hankyu buses 30, 51, 55, 56, 58, 59, 66 or 79 from Kitasenri Station on the Hankyu Senri Line and getting off at the Onohara stop.

For more information, check mafga.or.jp/en/ (in English) or call 072-727-6912.

Free visa consultations for foreign residents

The Kobe International Community Center will hold free consultation sessions for foreign residents from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on July 16 and Aug. 6 about visa problems and other issues that administrative scriveners can address.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 078-291-8441.

The center is close to Boeki Center Station on the Port Liner Line. For more information, check www.kicc.jp/kicc/index_eng.html (in English).

Guidance on schooling options for foreigners

Non-Japanese students and their parents can attend a free guidance session Aug. 3 in Nagoya to learn what options are available for the children in Japan after graduating from junior high school.

Translations will be available in Chinese, English, Filipino, Portuguese and Spanish. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 052-581-0100.

To find out more about the event, check www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/en/e/archives/9369 (in English).

Summer festivals on tap all around Aichi

Summer festivals with fireworks, food stalls, stage performances and parades will be featured this month throughout Aichi Prefecture.

One will be held in Toyohashi (www.aichi-kanko.jp/search/detail.asp?id=1429 ) from July 18 to 20.

Another is set for July 20 in Gamagori (www.city.gamagori.lg.jp/unit/kankoshoko/gamamatu.html)

Ichinomiya is holding an event from July 24 to 27 (www.138ss.com/tanabata_bunner/index_tanabata.htm)

July 26 and 27 will see a festival in the Kakuozan district in Nagoya (www.kakuozan.com/festival/2014/02_summer.html)

Komaki’s fesitval is scheduled for July 26 and 27 (www.city.komaki.aichi.jp/festival/natsumatsuri/010724.html)