Spring is coming. The first thing that comes to people’s minds in this season is probably going to hanami — eating traditional Japanese food and enjoying some traditional music under the blooming cherry trees. In Ueno Park, however, classical music will be accompanying the hanami experience. Also called “Tokyo Opera Forest,” Ueno Park is holding “Spring Festival in Tokyo — Tokyo Opera Nomori 2010.” The event started March 16 and will continue until April 10.

A new way to appreciate hanami and classical music, “Tokyo Opera Nomori 2010” is bound to delight a broad range of people. This 27-day-long celebration will consist of 40 concerts in total, including free concerts performed in cafes, restaurants and cultural facilities such as the park’s art galleries and museums.

This is the sixth year the event has been held, and the festival was organized with the aim of attracting people to visit Ueno for hanami, which back in the Edo period was reputed to be the best location for the tradition. The concept of playing classical music in the park promotes the idea that the cherry blossom experience need not be strictly associated with traditional Japanese music; cherry blossoms are a symbol of joy, whatever the culture or tradition.

Spring Festival in Tokyo — Tokyo Opera Nomori 2010 continues until April 10. Ueno Park is located next to JR Ueno Station in Tokyo. Ticket prices vary for the concerts. For more information, call (03) 3296-0600 or visit www.tokyo-harusai.com/

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