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The Aoi Festival on May 15 is one of Kyoto's three main festivals, and Risako Ota, a sophomore at Kobe University, has been chosen as its 59th Saio-dai, or heroine. The "Aoi-Matsuri Gyoretsu Hozonkai," or Aoi Festival procession conservation group, announced this on April 14.
The eighth birthday party for Hikonyan, the mascot of Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture, was held on April 13 in the square before the tower of Hikone Castle in Konki-cho, Hikone City, where the mascot resides. Approximately 1,200 people, including his fans and tourists, got together under the cherry blossoms in full bloom to celebrate his birthday.
In response to the municipal ordinance "Seishu (Japanese Sake) de Kanpai Jorei," or toast with a cup of Japanese sake act, which took effect last year, "Kyoto Shikki Kogei Kyodo Kumiai," a cooperative association of Japanese lacquerware craftsmen, in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, has focused on producing lacquered "Guinomi," or large sake cups, which were rare before. They promoted them, saying, "People should enjoy a pleasant feeling on their mouth that's different from pottery."
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