|A man walks past an electronic screen displaying the Nikkei share average as cherry blossoms are in full bloom outside a brokerage in Tokyo March 22, 2013.
TOKYO -- Cherry blossoms reached full bloom Friday in central Tokyo, 12 days earlier than the 30-year average between 1981 and 2010, and 15 days earlier than last year, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
It is the second earliest since the weather agency began taking statistics on cherry blooms in 1953, following 2002, when cherry blossoms reached their peak on March 21.
More than 80 percent of buds of sample cherry trees at Yasukuni Shrine in downtown Tokyo were in bloom, the agency said.
On Friday, cherry blossoms were also in full bloom in Kochi on the smallest main island of Shikoku, eight days earlier than the 30-year average, and in Kumamoto on the southwestern main island of Kyushu 10 days ahead.
In Kyoto and Hiroshima, cherry blossoms were seen blooming Friday five to six days earlier than the 30-year average.