The cherry blossoms along the Kawazugawa river were finally in full bloom on March 9. Despite the temperature being a chilly 9 degrees on a rainy day, cherry blossom lovers turned out to view the first sign of the coming of spring.
Anticipating a normal year, the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival was originally scheduled to run from Feb. 5 to March 10. But the festival has now been extended to March 18 because of the late-blooming sakura.
"This is the first time the cherry blossoms have been this late in blooming," said Hiroko Shimazaki, Kawazu Tourist Association secretary-general.