Japanese cherry blossoms are famous all over the world. In Tokyo, cherry trees (“sakura“) start blooming at the end of March until the middle of April. Also, it’s the best travel season. One way to enjoy Japanese cherry blossoms is “hanami” (= cherry blossom viewing). Friends, couples and co-workers come together in parks throughout the city and make a picnic under the cherry trees.
In our video, well show you what you need for the perfect “hanami” picnic. Enjoy!!
“Hanami” is a lot of fun. It is also very easy to do because all you need is a picnic blanket and something to eat. Both can be found in small supermarkets called “Conbini”. So you don’t have to bring a blanket to Japan. Just use a plastic sheet like a local! By the way, most of the plastic sheets are blue (with some green ones popping up lately). Now, I associate blue plastic sheets with “hanami” and actually I like the blue and green with the pink of the cherry blossoms. One mistake I made when I had my first “hanami” was the choice of clothes for that event. It seems like spring but when you actually sit under a tree for a long time, it gets colder and colder… This time, I wore a down coat: perfect choice!
Every year in March I am always waiting for the cherry blossoms to bloom. This is because I want to make a “hanami” picnic! When you visit a famous “hanami” location, you will see many people enjoying their picnics under the trees, drinking sake (rice wine) and eating nice food. I get really excited just by looking at them. My friends and I placed a picnic sheet on the ground, got some tea, rice balls, and snacks and we were ready to go! When I sat on the sheet and looked up, there was just cherry flowers – nothing else! So beautiful! That made me really happy. Of course, the food was great, too. After the main dish, we had a traditional Japanese dessert. We ate dumplings, which are very popular especially in this season. Do you want to know, if they tasted good? Of course!
In one of their songs the South Korean indie band “10cm” ask “Do you like spring?” That’s right. Spring is a fantastic season that makes you heart beat faster. Not only in Japan but also in Korea “Sakura” (cherry blossoms) become the center of attention when families, friends and couples go to see them celebrate the beginning of spring. In Korea, we have “Hanami”, too. But in Japan, everything is bigger and more even more gorgeous. Here in Japan we bring lots of delicious food and make a picnic under the trees. Because of the many other people around you who do the same, “hanami” picnics have a great atmosphere. I get really excited! Enjoy taking pictures of cherry blossoms and the nice food! It’s time to celebrate spring!
Best “hanami” (cherry blossom viewing) spots in Tokyo:
Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu Gardens (for a picnic!)
Shiba Park (meeting the locals!)
Tokyo Midtown (for a date!)