Cherry blossoms draw crowds after emergency lifted

A popular cherry blossom viewing site in Tokyo, Ueno Park, was packed on Saturday, the first weekend since a state of emergency was lifted for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures.

The park's main street has been divided in the center to allow people to keep to one side so there is less chance they come into contact with others.

Fences have been put up along the streets and signs warn people not to hold parties under the trees.

Park officials say there were more visitors compared with last week as the cherry blossoms reached full bloom on Friday.

The officials are calling on blossom viewers to wear masks and avoid crowds. They say the trees are not being lit up at night to discourage people from eating and drinking beneath them.