Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kobe Luminarie

This evening I visited Kobe for the Kobe Luminarie - a light festival that is held every December for about 2 weeks, to commemorate the great earthquake of 1995. The lights were donated by the Italian government, and are turned on for a couple of hours every evening during the festival.

It was absolutely enormous. They close down city blocks to accommodate the crowds - at least tens of thousands, and that was just in the one evening! Once the lights go on, the crowd slowly moves down the street, under ornate illuminated arches, leading to the Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park, where there are other illuminated structures.

Along with my Koyasan visit, this has been the most stunning event I have been to in Japan so far.