Photo/IllutrationThe landmark sign of Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. is illuminated at the center of Sapporo's Susukino district on Sept. 19. (Nobuhiro Shirai)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

SAPPORO--Familiar signs lit up Sapporo’s Susukino district, the largest entertainment area in Hokkaido, on Sept. 19 for the first time since a destructive quake struck the island on Sept. 6.

The illuminated signs, including the iconic one advertising Nikka whisky, were turned on at 6 p.m.

The earthquake knocked out power across Hokkaido, and the central government and Hokkaido Electric Power Co. asked businesses and households to conserve energy to ensure a stable electricity supply.

That request has been lifted. And the electricity supply has significantly improved since the No. 1 generator at the Tomato-Atsuma thermal power plant located in Atsuma resumed operations at 9 a.m. on Sept. 19.

The Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry called for a resumption of nighttime illuminations to show that Hokkaido is returning to normal. Nine institutes, including the Sapporo TV Tower, answered the call.