Japan cherry blossom season delights all of us not just offering the stunning sakura blossoms but also hanami picnic party, exciting outdoor events, and variety of Japanese street foods to try from the food carts. As hanami is approaching to some of the major cities of Japan such as in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Yokohama, Sendai, Akita we all get excited to be part of it. Everyone is planning to have an enjoyable hanami for this year on their own way but we could add some extra fuel to it by knowing few other things. Maybe these ideas could match with yours! More or less as time passes by we all would manage things to get the job done though I want to share some important tips in order to enjoy this year hanami with full of joy.
First of all, to those who have no idea what hanami is, I am highly pleased to inform you that “Hanami” refers flower viewing or so called cherry blossom viewing. It is an essential part of Japanese culture. If you are a first timer in Japan to see cherry blossoms then I would guide you how to participate and celebrate Hanami here. In fact, it is not a daunting task, anyone can do it. Well, let’s get started now!
Pick a Perfect Hanami Spot
To celebrate your hanami party in the Japanese way, the first thing you need to do is picking a comfortable spot. How could we do it then? Well, if you are going to go to have a hanami party in the popular hanami spots then you better arrive there very early in the morning; I repeat again “very early in the morning”. I know how hard it is to get a perfect spot when everyone seeks to get one during this time of the year. So, the early you go there and pick the right spot the better your hanami would be. If you are not aware of it much then someone would take it for sure. And thus you will be a loser. So plan accordingly and don’t you forget it!
Watch out for the Rules and Show your respect
Japanese are calm, modest, responsible and friendly. Don’t try to do any things that could heart us! Follow the rules in a good manner whenever you are assigned to follow them. Hanami is all about celebration though you can’t do whatever you want, again there are rules! There are certain rules that you must follow such as sometimes you are not allowed to drink alcohol, throw thrashes out around you and pollute the environment. And please note that picnic party is not allowed everywhere. To find the perfect hanami picnic spots in Japan you must visit here.
Take all the Useful Accessories
We need to have some very useful accessories or items that include outdoor blanket, paper plates, wine bottles, garbage bag and etc. Choose a larger one (picnic sheet) so that all of your guests could have their own seats. One the other hand if it is large then you could place the foods and drinks on the picnic sheet properly.
Don’t forget to buy a garbage bag, please keep it besides you. You may get one for free from the park authority, last year I was lucky to get one from them in Ueno Park, Tokyo.
Some people bring packable wine glasses but I would suggest you to buy a beautiful sake set. I think it is better to have sake set than having such wine glasses. Apart from this you should buy disposable chopsticks sets. They are good for our environment, no doubt! Remember that you need a box of tissue paper, wine bottle opener, disposable plates and cups; as a result you could enjoy your hanami.
Buy Hanami Bento
Is it your first time to celebrate hanami in Japan? If it is then there is another way to enjoy your hanami, just buy hanami bento from department store or try to make it at home. Oh….I guess making hanami bento for a tourist will not be a good idea. You are here for a short stay to experience stunning sakura in my country so I want you to order hanami bento from the department stores. Though if you want to make it then buy bento box at first. I think, without this thing your hanami party will sound pretty incomplete. So, beware of it because it does represent hanami and spring! This sort of box comprises of delicious foods such as sushi, sakura mochi, salmon, shrimp and other spring vegetables.
Watch the live Stage Performances
Many live events/stage performances take place in various hanami spots throughout Japan. Surly, they are not to be missed by any means! Wearing attractive and beautiful attires numbers of groups perform their variety of live stage events such as dancing, singing, fashion show, poetry reading, koto playing, parades and etc. Enjoy their spectacular performances by clapping your hands numerous time and. “OH HOW FUN! SO EXCITING” – says a friend of mine from Australia who had visited Japan last year during hanami season.
Toilet! Find it
It is not good to see a long queue in front of a toilet at the hanami spots, but it is typical experience that you could encounter there. I would say that you are lucky if such facility is provided by the authority. What if they don’t provide that? In that case, you have got to go to a convenience store to erase the toilet problem. The technique is quite simple, just buy cheap things such as few chocolates, chewing gum or else and ask “Could you show me the way to toilet here please?” It works! Even though, it is not mandatory to buy things before or after using the toilet. I think politeness exists everywhere!
Where is your Camera?
You are going to go to have a great hanami picnic party under the breathtaking cherry blossoms. Taking photos of sakura blossom is must thing to do in spring. Many people do it first then think of other things. A friend of mine gets busier with his camera at hanami spot. The only reason behind it, he says “I am here, having picnic party, if I don’t capture our happy hanami moments right now with the camera then when? It comes only once in a year” – I hope you got the point right now.
Night Hanami Party! Please read this carefully
If you are to have a night hanami party make sure you put jacket or other costume that would protect you from the cold. The weather in Japan during spring gets cold in the evening so you better admire what I just said. In addition, the morning season could be cold too. Carry a light jacket, and I guess you better wear it and set off your hanami expedition.
A hanami spot like Ueno park in Tokyo is very crowded. Visitors are everywhere, roaming all over it or sitting next to you, someone walks, someone eats, and someone talks to others! It is always good to take your shoes off and then have a seat on a picnic sheet. Place your shoes behind you, outside the sheet or if there are more than four or five people with you who want to celebrate hanami with you then make sure you buy a large tote bag to place the all shoes in one place. In fact, we do it and I just shared one of my thoughts.
Drinking a bottle of wine or sake together with others is one of the best ways of celebrating hanami. Pour some sake, drink it and feel it! That’s the way to go and enjoy your hanami. There are variety of sake can be found throughout Japan, buy your favorite variety. If you have kids with you then buy orange or apple juice for them. Buy some drinking water bottles to ensure that you never run out of water.
Sing a Song if you Want
Why singing a song only? My advice is – sing as many as song you want to sing! People won’t bother hearing your songs. Pick up some songs that are quite popular and easy to sing, hopefully other would join with you and together you all would be able to create a real hanami atmosphere. Best of luck!
Take a leisurely stroll along the designated paths/garden trails and make your hanami even much more pleasant than just sitting under sakura tree. It is typical seeing couple walk around the hanami spots holding hands of each other. In fact, this is a very romantic place to have a great time with your lover. Even when you don’t have a lover, you walk with your friends. That would be best!
Sometimes I prefer walking alone, it gives me freedom and I could roam anywhere I want to go. I like Hokkaido’s hanami season as the unspoiled nature there burst into life with variety flower blossoms. I like to hike through the designated hiking trails located in the national parks there. It is really enjoying and challenging being part of nature and wildlife in Hokkaido in spring.
Do you Like Reading Book?
How long would you like to stay at a certain hanami spot? Based on this question you would like to do something that you like the most. I am sure some of you like reading book often outside. If you are going to stay there for a long time then start reading a book. It is the best way of killing your time. I myself do it and enjoy my whole stay! Please find some good books to read here.
These are the things you must keep in your mind to have a great hanami party outdoor. In addition, try exploring the surrounding attractions of a certain area that lets you have an outdoor hanami picnic party. I also suggest you to try the local specialties, even when you are not a foodie person like me. I think you can personalize all these things described above, I know your brain would let you do so. Please generate your own ideas! Thanks for reading this article. I wish you a good luck. Happy Hanami!
Copyright 2015 @ takkhis