(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

Crowds of mourners gathered in Tokyo today, lining the streets around Zojoji Temple where the funeral of the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is taking place.

The funeral is private, limited only to the former leader’s family, loved ones and foreign dignitaries – but members of the public have flocked to the area to pay their respects.

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

Photos from the scene show mourners weeping, hands holding flowers, notes and other offerings to be placed at the memorial outside the temple.

Abe was a controversial but popular figure, having served two terms from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020.

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

The temple is a centuries-old structure of historical and cultural significance, housing the tombs of Japanese military leaders from the Edo period.

A private vigil for Abe was also held at the temple on Monday evening, attended by his widow, Akie Abe, other relatives and guests.

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

After the funeral service, the hearse carrying Abe’s body will be taken from the temple to the Kirigaya Burial Hall for cremation.

Along the way, the hearse will pass important sites including the Prime Minister’s Office, the Parliament Building and the headquarters of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party. In the compound of the Prime Minister’s office, office staff will stand outside to see him off.

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

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