Night-time lighting has returned to the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido, about 2 weeks after a powerful earthquake hit the northern Japanese prefecture.
The September 6th quake caused an emergency shutdown of the Tomatoh-Atsuma thermal plant, the largest in Hokkaido, and that triggered a blackout affecting about 2.95 million households across the prefecture. Even after power was restored, many shops and restaurants kept neon signs and lights off at night to conserve electricity.
On Wednesday, one of the units at the Tomatoh-Atsuma plant was restarted, improving the power supply. Lively night scenes returned to the district of Susukino in central Sapporo and other areas popular with tourists.
In response to a call from the local chamber of commerce, stores and businesses switched on lights and signs en masse at 6 PM.
People on the streets of Susukino looked happy to see the district's symbolic signboards lit up again. Some of them were seen taking photos of the scenes using smartphone cameras.