Cherry blossoms came into bloom on Saturday in Kochi ahead of other parts of the country, a local meteorological observatory said.

The bloom in the western Japan city was one day later than usual and six days later than last year. The blossoms are expected to reach full bloom within a week to 10 days.

A recent cold spell pushed back the bloom, an official at the local observatory said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency, based on its observation designated trees, has yet to declare the start of cherry blooming in Tokyo, where cold weather has continued.

The blooming of the most common "Somei Yoshino" variety of cherry tree is reported across the Japanese archipelago from March to early May, with eastern Hokkaido usually becoming the last area to observe it.

Cherry blossoms come into bloom in Kochi on March 23, 2024. (Kyodo)