Crowds flock to Tokyo to see cherry blossom

Crowds flock to Tokyo to see cherry blossom

People flocked to admire cherry blossoms in full bloom along Tokyo's Meguro river on Tuesday as a state of emergency lifted last week.

"Last year I couldn't come here due to the state of emergency. This year I wanted to come again, so here I am," said Miyu Obata, a 21-year-old university student who came to see cherry blossoms with her university friend.

The Japanese government has been calling upon the nation to refrain from holding traditional picnic parties under cherry blossoms with fluorescent tape being used to cordon off picnic spots at parks in Tokyo.

Japan's famous cherry blossoms have reached their flowery peak earlier this year than at any time since formal records started being kept nearly 70 years ago, with experts saying climate change is the likely cause.