First cherry blossoms mark arrival of spring in Tokyo


Cherry blossoms are officially in bloom in Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Monday, in one of the most anticipated announcements of the spring.

The season’s first blooms in the capital of the Somei-Yoshino variety were spotted at Yasukuni Shrine.

The declaration, which marks the arrival of spring, came two days earlier than last year and five days earlier than the average year, thanks to warm weather over the past few days, agency officials said.

Cherry blossoms came into bloom in Fukuoka and Nagoya on Saturday, and in Gifu on Sunday — all a few days earlier than usual.