Soon cherry blossom (“sakura”) blooming season will start! In Tokyo, the beautiful blossoms usually begin to bloom around the end of March. That’s when the whole city turns into a pink cotton candy cloud. If you are in Tokyo during this period, the so-called cherry blossom viewing (“hanami”) should be at the top of your to-do list!
People go out, spread their picnic blankets, and enjoy their lunch boxes while looking up at the cherry blossoms. Lunch boxes (“o-bento”) are sold at supermarkets and lunch box shops. However, Tokyo is the city of food with so many options at a reasonable price, so you might consider to choose a yummy snack to-go! These are our recommendations!
“FRIJOLES” (6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Nearby sakura spot: Tokyo Midtown (the lawn area and park behind the building)
How about adding some spice to your hanami experience? We all know: Mexican food is always delicious! “FRIJOLES” in the culturally mixed Roppongi area is popular not only among Japanese locals but also among foreigners living nearby.
If you are hungry, get a burrito. If you like different tastes in one meal, get the three types of tacos set. They also have salad bowls and other sides. You can customize your food with veggies and sauces. Also, they do have a vegetarian option!
“Kyotaru” (2-1-18 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Nearby sakura spots: Roppongi Hills Mori Garden, Shiba Park
As for me, the best lunch box for hanami I could think of is sushi. A great sushi bento shop is”Kyotaku” at Azabu Juban. They have many types of boxed lunches with raw fish at reasonable prices. Some of the bento boxes are already made, but some of the bentos will be freshly made after ordering.
“Chakin-zushi” (sushi wrapped in an egg omelet) menu, Negitoro-don rice bowls, seafood rice bowls, chirashi-zushi (spread out sushi), inari-zushi (rice wrapped in tofu) and so on…there are many options to choose from, even if you aren’t into raw fish.
Moreover, you can also get big boxes with three to five servings of assorted items. Great, for a big picnic with your friends! (Also, you can phone the shop and pre-order!) My recommendation is a sushi assortment which is not only delicious, but also a beautiful sight!
“DUMBO Donuts and Coffee” (2-17-6 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Nearby sakura spots: Tokyo Tower, Shiba Park, Zojoji Temple
“DUMBO Donuts” might be the best donut shop in Tokyo! And if you like coffee: the coffee beans are blended to match the donuts! Wow!
The store has a small eat-in section, however many customers order their donuts to-go. When you put your huge donut on the lid of your drink (preferably a cold drink with a straw) it’s not only easy to balance – it looks VERY instagrammable.
DUMBO’s big donuts are truly delicious and will fill you for sure. The donuts aren’t too sweet, and the creamy toppings are marvelous! I had a passion fruit donut with chocolate sprinkles – delicious! Right now for a limited period of time, the shop offers “Cherry cheesecake” donuts. Maybe that’s the perfect match for your hanami picnic?!