Spring approaches and with it blooming trees. Although February is still a bit early for cherry blossoms, park and shrine visitors can get their fill of gorgeous blooms from plum trees. In the Bunkyo ward, not far away from Ueno park, lies Yushima Tenjin Shrine. Here, guests can enjoy ume matsuri, or plum festival. During a month stretching until March 7 the festival includes traditional Japanese shamisen-playing, dance and tea. In nighttime illuminations light up the shrine area. The Bunkyo Plum Blossom Festival is one of Bunkyo ward’s five flower festivals, and Yushima Tenjin has been a popular spot for blossom-viewing since the Edo era.