Spring in Japan isn’t just about the cherry blossoms and at Yushima Tenjin Shrine you can see one of the island nation’s other flower festivals, the ume matsuri, or plum festival. Plum trees blossom earlier and for longer than cherry blossoms, so if your trip’s timing is that tiny bit off and you’re missing the pink tide, you can still get your fill of gorgeous blooms from the plum trees.
Yushima Tenjin has been a popular spot for blossom-viewing since the Edo era and the festival includes demonstrations of shamisen-playing, traditional dance, tea, and other Japanese cultural events, including a mikoshi (portable shrine) procession on February 26. It also features nighttime illuminations from sundown to 8 p.m.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.