The Olympic flame arrived in Japan on Friday, and Japanese three-time Olympic gold medalists Saori Yoshida and Tadahiro Nomura lit the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cauldron with it.
A plane carrying the Olympic torch from Greece landed at Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Matsushima base.
The plane was almost empty because the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee decided not to send a high-level delegation, which would have included its chief, Yoshiro Mori, and the Olympics minister, Seiko Hashimoto, to Greece as initially planned, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The traditional relay, scheduled to start in Fukushima on March 26, will pass many famous Japanese landmarks, including Mount Fuji, Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park and Kumamoto Castle, before entering the Olympic stadium July 24.
Authorities have advised the public not to crowd the relay route.
Although organizers have often said the Games, scheduled to run from July 24 to Aug. 9, will proceed, with the spread of COVID-19, postponement or cancellation of the games is not off the table.