People offer a silent prayer in Tokyo's Hibiya Park at 5:46 p.m. on Jan. 17 for victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, which struck Kobe and surrounding areas 24 years ago. (Video taken by Wataru Sekita)

Hundreds of people on Jan. 17 attended the first large commemorative event in Tokyo to pray for the souls of 6,434 people killed in the Great Hanshin Earthquake that devastated the Kobe area in 1995.

Candles were lit to form the numbers “1.17,” representing the date of the quake, in a corner of Hibiya Park in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.

More than 300 participants, including some who were born in Kobe and surrounding areas, offered a silent prayer at 5:46 p.m., exactly 24 years and 12 hours since the earthquake struck.

One of the largest commemorative events concerning the 1995 quake has long been held in the Higashi Amusement Park in Kobe.

The organizers of that event decided to hold the ceremony in the capital for the first time this year because many people from the disaster area, including survivors, now live in the greater Tokyo area.

The organizers plan to continue holding the event in Tokyo.

The event in Tokyo and the main gathering held in the Higashi Amusement Park were connected via the Internet on Jan. 17, enabling participants to view each other’s ceremonies.

The candles at the Small Concert Hall in Hibiya Park were lit from a flame brought from the Light of Hope memorial gas lamp set up in the Higashi Amusement Park.