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OSAKA

Giant duck to make its return

by Jun Hongo

Staff Writer

A giant rubber duck will make a triumphant return to Osaka after having survived serious hardships including drowning and being stabbed during its global tour.

The 10-meter-high inflatable bird, designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, will be one of the main attractions at the Aqua Metropolis Osaka festival. The festival runs through most of the month, but most of the events will occur Friday along Ajigawa River and the city’s waterfront.

Hofman’s art project debuted in Japan at the festival in 2009 before continuing its tour around the world. It was reported that the duck was stabbed more than 40 times during a port call in Belgium the same year, while in Hong Kong it deflated overnight to the shock of local bird watchers. But the tough duck will return to Osaka for a week-long encore tour beginning Friday.

If giant rubber dolls aren’t your thing, you can duck out for a cold drink as the annual festival offers a selection of beers from around the world. Fresh fish from the city’s central market will be available at the Market Resort area, where Osaka’s top-notch restaurants will open temporary stores.

Other attractions include picnic areas where toy-making workshops will be held.

Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2013 Festival will take place mainly in Nakanoshima Park in Kita-ku between Oct. 11 and 14 from 10 a.m. till 9 p.m., and at the Nakanoshima Gate area between Oct. 11 and Oct 27 from 11 a.m. till 10 p.m. Starting times for programs vary depending on the day. No entrance fee is required. For more information, visit www.osaka-info.jp/en.