After a devastating earthquake in 1995, the city of Kobe began a light festival to pay tribute to the thousands who perished in the disaster and provide hope for the surviving residents. The installations was produced by Valerio Festi and Hirokazu Imaoka with over 200,000 individually hand painted lights donated by the Italian government. Although it wasn’t intended to be a yearly thing, the popularity of the event was so great the city has continued the tradition for a few weeks every December. It’s estimated that somewhere between 3 and 5 million people visit the exhibit annually. This year, the Kobe Luminarie runs from Dec 4-13th and after seeing these spectacular images, I’m ready to spend next year’s holiday season in Japan!
Photos via Kobe Mari