Cherry trees came into bloom on Tuesday in Tokyo, matching the earliest time on record since observations began in 1953, and ahead of all other regions in the country, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The "Somei Yoshino" variety at Yasukuni Shrine used for the agency's observations blossomed the same day in 2020 and 2021. They are expected to be in full bloom within around a week.
An agency official found 11 blooming buds on the sample tree in the shrine's grounds at around 2 p.m., surpassing the threshold for declaring the tree's blooming for Tokyo. The declaration came 10 days earlier than average and six days earlier than last year.
The buds grew quickly as temperatures began to rise in March, the agency said.
Blossoms are also expected earlier than usual across the country due to warmer weather.
Visitors to parks administered by the Tokyo metropolitan government, such as Ueno Park, will be able to hold parties involving food and drinks during the cherry blossom season for the first time in three years.
The Tokyo government had advised people to refrain from holding such cherry-viewing parties at its parks in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
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