Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, concerned citizens throughout Japan have demanded that the nation's nuclear power plants be shut down until the safety of the reactors can be determined. In Kyûshû, where some thirty percent of electricity production comes from nuclear power, this has meant residents, businesses, and governmental bodies have been asked to conserve energy by 15% during the summer months when demand for electricity peaks.
Efforts to lower demand can be seen everywhere. Public offices have raised the thermostats on their air conditioners to 28℃ (82.4°F), and turned off the air conditioning completely in half of the city's subway stations. Interior lights on trains (pictured above) and university hallways have also been turned off.
In a country where an abundance of illuminated billboards and flashing neon lights ensures that it is bright enough for a person to read a newspaper outside in the middle of the night, this new darkness will take some getting used to.