Kobe Luminarie Light Art : Wishes for Reconstruction & Peace for Souls…

Kobe Luminarie is arranged for the 20th time in the winter of 2014.

Decorating Kobe and the former foreign settlement area, the impressive light art is very popular and has become an intrinsic part of winter. 



Starting from the first piece of illumination called "Frontone", a gallery of light "Galleria" goes through Nakamachi Street. The arches overlap one another, and the three‑dimensional pattern drawn within the darkness is the biggest highlight.



The parts are transported every year from Italy, and Italian craftsmen put the frame together with the help of Japanese staff. If you look closely, you can see that there are many electric wires peeking out from the wooden frame.



Please observe the details on the backside, as well. You will be captivated by a somewhat different kaleidoscope-like brilliance. 



Luminarie was started in 1995.

In December of the year that the Great Kobe Earthquake occurred, mourning of the victims of the tragic disaster began at the beginning of the year, Luminarie was held for the first time to wish peace for the souls of the victims and for the reconstruction of the city of Kobe.

When the lights were first lit in the city with empty lots and construction sites everywhere, there were many people who could not believe that there was something so beautiful in this world. Many people who saw the lights had tears in their eyes.



Waiting at the end of the gallery is Higashi Yuenchi Park with the ornament wall, "Spalliera".  You can hear the sound of "Fukki no kane" (The bell of revival) that is rang by all the people who make a donation.



The way towards Luminarie from Motomachi station in the direction of Sannomiya station is one-way only. Instead of just quickly passing by, we recommend doing some shopping and having a meal nearby the event area.



What we have shown you so far was from the 2013 Kobe Luminarie.


Every year it has a different theme and is displayed with a different wooden frame design and color scheme.

We dropped by the former foreign settlement area to sneak a peek at the 2014 look. It is based on the same theme as the very first Luminarie, "Kobe Yume to Hikari" (Kobe, Dream and Light). 



The motifs at the ends shaped like tree leaves were impressive. The design really is different. We also recommend looking at the white Luminarie under the blue sky.

How about visiting the "Galleria" this winter?

Kobe Luminarie:

In session: December 4th (Thu) ~ December 15th (Mon) 2014

Light up schedule: [Mon~Thu] around 18.00~21.30, [Fri] around 18.00~22.00 [Sat] around 17.00~22.00 [Sun] around 17.00~21.30 (When crowded, the lights may be lit up earlier)

Access: Around a 5-minute walk from JR Hanshin Motomachi station (no parking area)

Entrance fee: Free, but asking a JPY100 donation per person.

Reference site:

Kobe Luminarie Organization Committee

http://www.kobe-luminarie.jp/ (Japanese)


Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Madoka Hori



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Written by

Madoka Hori

Madoka Hori

Madoka Hori / Photo-writer Entrepreneurial translator/writer living in Hyogo. As a licensed English tour guide, she occasionally takes tourists to beautiful destinations such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Kyoto, and Osaka and her clients have never got lost so far. On Setouchi Finder, as one of the original team members, she enjoys taking photos and sharing her favorite hidden gems. Private Photo Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328


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