Hanami is a century-old Japanese custom of enjoying the blossom of sakura (cherry) blossom, and Ueno Park has been well-known as a hanami spot ever since Kan'eiji Temple was established here about 400 years ago (Kan'eiji was later removed from here, but some of its building still remain in the park).
There are tens of cultivars or species of sakura totaling about 700 trees in Ueno Park, showing various shapes and colors of flowers in various periods. But about half of them are somei-yoshino, the now-dominant variety among sakura. From late March to early April, when somei-yoshino bloom at once (this variety is self-sterile so they are all clones, which means that all the trees bloom at the same time if the conditions are the same), there will be the Ueno Sakura Matsuri (うえの桜まつり), or the Ueno Cherry Festival, held at the park.
Ueno Sakura Matsuri
During the Ueno Sakura Matsuri, about a thousand lanterns are lit in the evening from 5pm to 8pm.
People flock under the flowers to have a party and eat and drink together.
When the lanterns go off at 8pm, there will only be street lamps.
There will be stalls along the front approach.
There will be stalls at Ueno Toshogu, too.
Events will be held in front of the fountain. There will be an antique market set up at the side of the Shinobazu-no-ike Pond, also.