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) www.biwako-hall.or.jp/natsufesta2014/ 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 kyoto-atago.jp/images/sentimairi4.htm (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 osaka-manga.com/en/about (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 www.katch.ne.jp/~mando/ (in Japanese) or call 0566-23-4100.