Photo/Illutration Visitors walk through a tunnel of cherry blossoms at the Japan Mint in Osaka's Kita Ward in April 2019. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

OSAKA--For the first time in three years, the Japan Mint has announced that it will open its gates and host its popular cherry blossom viewing event in the spring.

The annual event, held on the grounds of the Japan Mint in Kita Ward, has been canceled for two years in a row due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Reservations for admission will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis from mid-March.

The popular spring tradition attracted about 580,000 visitors in seven days in April 2019 to a street lined with sakura in full bloom. The street is usually closed to the public. 

This year, the number of visitors will be limited to 20,000 per day.

The Japan Mint will determine the duration of the event in mid-March based on how the cherry blossoms are blooming.

Visitors need to select the date and time slot when they make reservations on the institution's official website.

The event could be canceled depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We want to prepare for the event and take thorough anti-virus measures so that visitors can enjoy the cherry blossom viewing event," an official said.