Tokyo to allow cherry blossom parties at public parks for first time in 4 years

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will allow cherry blossom viewing involving food and drinks at its public parks this season for the first time since the pandemic began.

The metropolitan government plans to open up its parks from Monday for full-fledged cherry blossom viewings for the first time in four years following an improvement in the capital's coronavirus situation.

Also from Monday, people across the country will be allowed to choose whether to wear masks.

But the Tokyo government says that to prevent congestions, it will keep relevant restrictions in place along Ueno Park's central path, which is lined with cherry blossom trees, during the flower-viewing period from Monday through April 16.

Officials are calling on people to continue observing anti-virus measures such as washing and disinfecting hands and being considerate of others since the pandemic has yet to be over.