Major festival in Shiga due near Lake Biwa

Biwako Hall in Shiga Prefecture will hold its Summer Festa on Aug. 2 and 3, featuring concerts, art workshops, a play, a documentary, an exhibition and dancing. Some are free.

The hall is a three-minute walk from Ishiba Station on the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line. For further info, visit (in Japanese) or call 077-523-7136.

Kyoto’s Atago Shrine ready for special rituals

Tens of thousands of worshippers will visit Atago Shrine in Kyoto from the night of July 31 to the morning of Aug. 1, as a visit at that time is said to be equal to 1,000 for the rest of the year. The first special ritual will start at 9 p.m., followed by one at 2 a.m.

To get to the shrine, take a Kyoto Bus from Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Arashiyama Line, get off at Kiyotaki and walk 4 km to the shrine. See (in Japanese) or call 075-861-0658 for more information.

New manga contest, info exchange in Osaka

The First Osaka International Manga Grand Prix is set for Aug. 8 and 9. Non-Japanese and Japanese can also attend a discussion session on manga and anime from all over the world, and visitors can learn how to draw manga from professional cartoonists.

Admission is free for elementary school students and ¥1,500 for anyone older. The venue is Osaka International House Foundation, a nine-minute walk from Tanimachi 9-chome Station on the Sennichimae and Tanimachi lines. For more information, check (in English).

Kariya Mando Festival this weekend

The Kariya Mando Festival is being held this weekend in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture. Samurai-shaped lanterns 5 meters tall and weighing 60 kg will be carried by one man each in parades from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 4:50 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

The venue is a five-minute walk from Kariyashi Station on the Meitetsu Mikawa Line. To find out more about the festival, go to (in Japanese) or call 0566-23-4100.

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