Cherry blossoms have started blooming in Japan's capital. This is one of the earliest blooms since records began 70 years ago.
The Meteorological Agency announced that 11 buds were opening on the benchmark cherry tree of the Somei-yoshino variety at Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo on Tuesday.
The announcement of the start of cherry blossom season in Tokyo came 6 days earlier than last year and 10 days before the average year. That ties with 2020 and 2021 for the earliest budding since records began in 1953.
An official of the observatory in Tokyo said it was warm in March and global warming may also be a factor. He said there were only four open buds on Monday, so the flowers are blooming smoothly.
Forecasters expect the flowers to go into full bloom around March 21 to 24.