Lights forming the date 17th January heralded a dawn vigil in Kobe, 10 years after the Japanese city was shattered by an earthquake.
At 0546 that day, a quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale shook much of the city flat, leaving a final death toll of 6,433.
The tremor toppled this elevated highway.
A decade on, the highway is back on its pillars and functioning again.
A proud metropolis is grieving for its dead and injured.
The Japanese imperial family came to the city to be among the mourners.
Candles were lit in the early hours of Monday to remember the dead.
Snow child figures represented the dead, most of whom were killed in a matter of seconds.
A more permanent memorial in the city records the names of those who were killed.
Japan will always live in danger of earthquakes and designers continue to seek construction techniques to minimise the damage.