The Kobe Luminarie (Official Website | Wikipedia) is an annual Christmas illumination. It’s probably the most famous and most visited in Japan. It was built to commemorate the devastating Great Hanshin Eaerthquake of 1995 in Kobe.
The festival is thronged with visitors every year, so while it’s definitely worth going, go early and be prepared to go at a leisurely pace. That way you won’t mind the crowds.
A short walk from Kobe-Sannomiya Station.
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Even if you hate crowds, go once. It’s a very beautiful sight. Then, after the festival of lights, warm up with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine nearby. It can make for a romantic night.