Cherry trees reach full bloom in Tokyo
TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo's cherry trees were in stunning full bloom on Friday, Japan's weather agency said, marking the second earliest blossoming in the capital on record.
The national weather service used Tokyo's central Yasukuni Shrine as a barometer to judge the peak of the season, which sees a riot of white and delicate pinks exploding in parks, temple grounds, schools and on streets.
The spectacle signals the coming of spring and is marked by sometimes-raucous gatherings of friends, family or colleagues picnicking under the trees.
Events can go on for many hours and often involve alcohol.