Kobe Luminarie: Japan’s Oldest Sparkling Festivity

Without a doubt, one of the most festive season in Japan is winter. The cold season, the impressive decorations, and the romantic vibe just make us love winter even more. And if you are travelling in Japan just in time for the winter season, which is from December to February, then please read through. This article about winter illumination will totally help you.

In Japan, there are variety of winter experiences. From the capital being transformed into a Christmas wonderland to the nearby towns and cities spectacular light decorations. One particular winter festivals that one should check off the bucket list when in Japan is Kobe Luminarie.


Kobe Luminarie is Kobe city’s annual winter light-up ceremony in commemoration to the victims of the tragic earthquake that hit the city in 1995.

Every year over three to five million people gather around the vicinity to watch the sparkling displays. With this event, you can witness the collaborative light works and designs between Italian and Japanese artists. The Italian government donated lights while both Italian and Japanese artists helped the installation. Both wanted to restore hope from victims and survivors during the Great Hanshin earthquake.

The most destructive earthquake left Kobe in darkness during that time. A lot of people have lost their lives while those who survived barely managed to keep up with all the destruction. The said light festival aims to give motivation to the people.

One of the oldest illumination events in the entire country is the Kobe Luminarie . It usually unfolds every year for 12 days from December 6-December 17. But in the recent years, the duration has been reduced in respect to the worldwide goal of energy conservation. This 2017 marks its 22nd year.

Artists display thousands creatively arranged tiny light bulbs  in various amazing patterns and designs. They amazingly produce the most awe-inspiring light effects and displays. Towers, cathedrals, buildings, and tunnel of lights illuminate colorful and impressive brilliances.  

Nevertheless, millions of people awaits this grand light festivity with hopeful hearts every year.



December 8 to 17, 2017; 18:00-21:30 (Mon to Thu), 18:00-22:00 (Fri), 17:00-22:00 (Sat), 17:00-21:30 (Sun)
Admission: Free
Access: Short walk from Motomachi or Sannomiya Station