Kobe Luminarie 神戸ルミナリエ has been a grand event held in Sannomiya the central district of Kobe, for around 2 weeks every December since 1995.
The lights were donated by the Italian government to commemorate the Great Hanshin Earthquake which had devastated much of Kobe that year, resulting in the deaths of around 4600 residents.
The display includes around 200,000 hand painted lights which have been lit every year as a tourist attraction to draw people back to Kobe after the disaster. In addition the event acts as a fundraiser to help cover the 100 billion dollars of damages that were caused by the Earthquake.
Unfortunately I missed out of seeing the lights last year,as the event conflicted with my return to Australia over the Christmas break. This year however I was lucky enough to check it out with my good mate Pete!
Around this time of the year, glancing at my Facebook feed, it seems like pretty much every JET in Kobe seems to head over at some point, take the exact same photos and upload an album of them :p
Protip: If you are attending this event, don’t be a stooge and line up with the masses!
Especially on the weekends people will wait for hours and hours just to walk down the shopping street!
The thing about Japan is the average person here doesn’t really break the rules, so there is little to no security at things like this. If you simply just walk along parallel to the enormous lines of people, there is really nothing stoping the clever of us from just slipping into the river of people at the entrance of the event.