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Ueno, a Global Capital of Culture: Spring 2016 Arts Festival

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Want to be an artist? Just come down to Ueno Park

The Implementation Committee for New Concept “Ueno, a Global Capital of Culture” is holding the three-day “Ueno, a Global Capital of Culture: Spring 2016 Arts Festival”—the organization’s first arts event—on the Takenodai Plaza at Ueno Park.
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games approaching, the Committee is aiming to promote Tokyo as an international “capital of culture” by organizing a variety of cultural programs amidst Japan’s premier cultural facilities in the Ueno area.


Art program

Geisai Portable Shrine display

The “Geisai Portable Shrine” plays a leading role in the Geisai celebration, the school festival that the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai) holds every September.
This display features five incredible portable shrines that Geidai students spent their summers building.


Coinciding with “Caravaggio and His Time: Friends, Rivals and Enemies,” an exhibition currently on display at the National Museum of Western Art (from March 1 to June 12), this cafe delights customers with a selection special wine—imported to Japan for the first time from the island of Malta, a location that played a major role in Caravaggio’s life. Open for just three days, the cafe also serves Maltese sandwiches, aljotta (Maltese fish soup), and more. Seize this opportunity to get a delectable taste!

World Cafe: “The Future of the Capital of Culture: 100 Voices in Ueno”

In Ueno Park, there are so many amazing facilities within walking distance of each other: art museums, other museums, universities, a library, a concert hall, and even a zoo. To help the area develop into an even richer environment, event organizers have created a forum for a lecture by Ryō Yamazaki and a 100-participant discussion to follow. Different perspectives, diverse values, and distinctive ideas are the keys to taking the “capital of culture” into the future.

Facility PR booths

PR booths profile various facilities, showcase current exhibitions, and sell UENO WELCOME PASSPORTS (Access Passes to Cultural Facilities in the Ueno Area).

Stage program

Head to the stage at the Ueno Park Takenodai Plaza (Fountain Plaza)

Performances by Taito-ku Ueno Middle School, Shinobugaoka Elementary School, and Tahara Elementary School

Geidai students conduct performances by Ueno Park-area elementary and middle schools.

Machinaka Concert (produced by Tokyo Bunka Kaikan)

The Machinaka Concert series, which has visited numerous locations throughout Tokyo in hopes of welcoming audiences into the world of music and the arts, arrives in Ueno with performances by Tokyo Music Competition prizewinners, a young brass ensemble, and more.

UENO Geijutsu Samba Party

The Asakusa Samba Carnival traces its origins back to the traditional “Samba Party” celebration—and now, it’s Ueno’s turn to revel in the fun. Transcending the boundaries of age, gender, race, and ethnicity, the dance brings people together to create a joyous, international vibe capable of permeating the entire capital of culture.

Performance by the Geidai Department of Traditional Japanese Music

The Geidai Department of Traditional Japanese Music provides a wonderful aural backdrop for cherry-blossom viewing.

Edo utsushi-e (magic lantern pictures)

The Minwaza Troupe performs utsushi-e (magic lantern pictures), a form of Edo-period “animation” that fused moving pictures, storytelling, and music—but still predated film by a century. With nostalgic melodies mingling with innovative production techniques, the Troupe delights audiences with captivating live imagery.

Performance by the Geidai Brass Ensemble

The 10-piece Geidai Brass Ensemble dazzles the audience with a rich, harmonious performance.

Spring Festival in Tokyo: “Conduct Us: You get to conduct a real orchestra!”

Have you ever wanted to conduct a real orchestra? This is your chance to live the dream and shape the sounds of professional classical musicians, sending the time-honored melodies of Beethoven’s “Fate” and the William Tell Overture into the ambience of Ueno Park. It’s first come, first served—so don’t miss your chance!

Geidai Chindon

Geidai students leave the stage and take to the aisles with a blast from the past, marching in a “chindon-ya” (Japanese marching band)—complete with colorful, off-the-wall costumes.


Free (however, fee is required for certain programs)


Implementation Committee for New Concept “Ueno, a Global Capital of Culture”


Fountain plaza, Ueno Onshi Park


Organized by
Implementation Committee for New Concept "Ueno, a Global Capital of Culture", Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Cooperated by
Ueno Sakura Festival 2016 (organized by Ueno Tourism Federation)