Having a Smith’s School of English franchise in Kobe has a lot of benefits beyond the obvious. Kobe is a very clean and beautiful city which has some great sights to see and holds some fun events too. Two weeks ago my wife and I went to Kobe Sannomiya to view the beautiful lights of Luminarie. Every year the city sets up a beautiful light show in memory of those whose lives were lost in the horrific earthquake that struck Kobe in January 1995. So this is the 13th year that they have done this. During the first year the destruction was still very apparent but they still were able to set up a great tribute. What is really fantastic is that it is all free to view, although I recommend a donation of 100 Yen per person as the cost to set this up must be quite high. Take a look at the thousands of cables used to suspend the framework that supports the lights! It is a huge job to set this up!
I was most impressed with how organized the traffic and crowd control was handled. The way in and the way out are separate to avoid the entering and exiting throngs of people from crashing into each other and the north-south streets are blocked and guarded to prevent people from jumping ahead in line. Viewers are asked to keep moving and stop only briefly to take pictures. It took only about 30 minutes to pass through and see the lights. Very impressive! This year the light display runs only until the 15th of December so if you want to see it, you need to get over there in the next few days. Enjoy!