Sixteen Military Wives

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December continued with me doing a second thing I’d always vowed never to do.

IMG_1217Kobe Luminarie has come at the end of every year since the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake. It’s meant to commemorate the lives lost in the quake. It amounts to a light display thats on display for 2 weeks at the end of December in Kobe. IMG_1243It draws huge crowds every year, culminating in the 10th year anniversary in 2004 which drew a record breaking *some impressive number of* people during its 2 week run. I love the city of Kobe, and would live there if it were feasible, and go there at every opportunity. However the swaths of people flocking to this event means that a night at Luminarie is a night of claustrophobic chaos from the 30 minute packed train ride from Osaka, to the 30 minute stroll down the strip packed shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of cell phone cameras going off at once. What could possibly drag me to such an event after I’d swore never to go? The same thing that found me at USJ and the same reason we all do stuff we hate like exercise and enriching ourselves. Bettering ourselves My girlfriend. (Un?)fortunately, the organization that runs Luminarie stopped receiving city grants after the 10th year anniversary and have been trouble recouping investments. Word is that this year is the last year for Kobe Luminarie. Who would have thought they couldn’t recoup the millions of yen in investments with crappy souvenirs like Luminarie hand towels and Luminarie cake sets. That’s not me being sarcastic either. I really am surprised they couldn’t sell enough of those things to Japanese consumers who eat crap like that up. Though I’ll be the first to admit that it’s really hard to express the magestic light display through cake.

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Afterwards my girlfriend and I went to China town, which was also sufficiently lit up for the Holiday season.

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This raised an interesting point. During the Holidays, Japan gets lit up like a frat boy on Friday. Especially Kobe. Why bother fighting the crowds at Luminarie when the rest of Kobe is just as nice, and deserted. During Luminarie, places like Mosaic Gardens, which are usually packed at night, become great empty date spots.

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~ by foomfoom on December 17, 2006.

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