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As the summer approaches, firefly-themed events light up Osaka

by Han Zhang

Staff Writer

At the start of the month, Tokyo’s Sumida River was filled with thousands of LED lights to create the illusion of fireflies. Nature lovers in Osaka hope you’ll want the real thing.

Actually, the Shin Umeda City complex has provided the event annually in its gardens for the past 18 years. This year, they will release up to 2,000 fireflies — practically for the purpose of propagation and commercially to tie in with promotion for the upcoming film “Hotaru no Hikari,” which is based on the TV drama of the same name.

“The glowing insects will help people rediscover the beauty of nature as well as teach respect for life,” organizers say. “It will be an unforgettable experience for children.”

Another firefly-viewing event will take place in Expo Park from June 1-10. On June 2, there will be a performance by musicians Hatao and Nami, who will be playing the harp and flute. June 3 will feature a performance by Haruyo Kimura playing the erhu, a two-stringed musical instrument from China played with a bow. There will also be an exhibition of color shadow pictures by artist Satomi Kono throughout the duration of the event.

Firefly viewing at both sites will take place June1-10. Shin Umeda City’s Nakashizen no Mori is open till 10 p.m. (Admission is free). For details, visit www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/event_7552.html. Expo Park is open till 9:30 p.m. (Admission costs ¥250 for adults, ¥70 for elementary school and junior high school students) For details, visit park.expo70.or.jp/event/hotaru_ev2012.html.