Kobe Luminarie is an illumination event held in Kobe for about 10 days annually.
If you read about The Highlights of Japan’s Four Seasons, you’d know that illuminations are a big part of winter in Japan and couples frequent them in this frosty season.
However the origin of Kobe Luminaire is a tad different from other illuminations spots that are built solely to attract visitors (but yes, Kobe Luminaire is also built with attracting more visitors as part of its purpose). Kobe Luminaire is held to commemorate the Great Hanshin Earthquake that struck the area in year 1995, January 17th resulting in more than 6,000 deaths. To counter the devastating disaster that happened at the beginning of the year, they decided to hold this illumination to give hope for the restoration of Kobe as the New Year is approaching and to light the way for the lost souls.
This year 2014, you can catch it between December 4th to December 15th.
Be warned though – you are unlikely to be able to stroll freely in this tremendously crowded event as you can see in the picture. Think of queuing for at least 30minutes before you start moving – in small but constant steps (there are people everywhere around you so you can’t really stop in your tracks to submerse yourself in the beauty). Just remember to bundle yourself warmly and wear comfy shoes and you’ll have a great day.
Link: Kobe Luminarie official website (Japanese)