TOKYO - Japan's cherry blossom season kicked off on Tuesday, when the Japanese Meteorological Agency confirmed the flowers were in bloom in Tokyo.
Despite the drizzling rain, agency officials counted more than five flowers blooming on a sample tree at Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, and confirmed that the cherry blossom could therefore be considered in bloom.
Visitors were busy taking photos of the cherry blossom flowers, but trees were still looking rather bare.
The beginning of the cherry blossom season in Tokyo came before anywhere else in Japan, and about five days before the average date.
The flower tends to first bloom in southern Japan, where the climate is warmer.
The flowers are expected to reach full bloom in about a week.