A more than 130-year-old lane in Osaka lined with cherry blossoms has been closed to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, but Kyodo News, permitted by authorities to use a drone around the area, on Friday captured images and footage of the flowers that attract nearly 700,000 visitors a week every spring.

The 560-meter path in the grounds of the Japan Mint's headquarters in the city boasts 337 sakura trees of 136 varieties, and was last closed for four years from 1943 during World War II.

This year they bloomed in peace with no crowds in attendance. "It is so sad for the sakura that no one is here to see them being breathtakingly beautiful," said a 75-year-old man as he peered over the fence into the grounds.

Related coverage:

60% still go to office despite state of emergency over virus: survey

Japan begins temperature testing of domestic passengers at Haneda

New hotline to begin for domestic violence victims stuck at home