was first held in December 1995 to mourn for the victims of the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake. Luminarie has now become an annual winter event in Kobe and highlights include illuminated gates and arches.
The event was designed to give the residents "hope" and "light" to reconstruct their severely damaged city.
Giant Christmas Tree
was built in Kobe. It is the best project in the world. The 30-meter high tree of hiba arborvitae (species of cypress) was shipped alive from Toyama Prefecture and built as a Christmas tree at Meriken Park. The tree is said to be about 150 years old and bigger than the large christmas tree in Rockefeller center in New York.