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People flock to Tokyo's Ueno Park for cherry blossom parties after restrictions lifted

TOKYO -- Ueno Park in the capital's Taito Ward was seen crowded with people on March 20 as cherry blossoms there were in full bloom and party restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted for the first time since spring 2020.

    Many people enjoy cherry blossoms at Ueno Park in Tokyo's Taito Ward on March 20, 2023. (Mainichi/Yuki Miyatake)=Click/tap photo for more images.

    Leisure sheets were spread out under the cherry blossom trees in the park's plazas, and families and foreign tourists enjoyed eating and drinking while admiring the flowers.

    Atsuko Ishii, a 57-year-old corporate employee from the Kanagawa Prefecture city of Sagamihara who was eating bento with her husband, said, "I am glad I came. Everyone seems to be having fun, and the cherry blossoms are beautiful. It's nice to be able to eat outside."

    A 27-year-old company employee from Tokyo's Sumida Ward who had grabbed a spot for his workplace's cherry blossom-viewing party, smiled and said, "I'm looking forward to this because we haven't had any seasonal events during the coronavirus pandemic at all. When everyone arrives after work, I want to go buy pizza and sushi for us."

    (Japanese original by Ai Kunimoto, Tokyo City News Department; video by Yuki Miyatake, Photo Group)

    In Photos: People return to Tokyo's Ueno Park for cherry blossom parties

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