One of the most exciting parts of the spring season in Japan is the hanami or cherry blossom festival. It is a tradition to welcome the new season by viewing the blossoming sakura trees. People gather to in parks with food and drinks to spend this beautiful time together.
This is one of the ways you can experience Japan’s culture if you plan to go travel there during spring. It’s easy to enjoy hanami but like many things, there are rules you should abide by but that doesn’t mean your enjoyment will be limited. Here are some tips you should know:
Come Early for the Prime Spot
Hanami is very popular and you can be sure that there will be thousands of people coming to celebrate it. If you want to get the prime viewing spot, be sure to come early. If you are an early riser, this is good news for you.
The Japanese people are known to go to the major viewing spots as early as 5 AM. If you are meeting up with friends or have someone you know that lives nearby, it might be a wise decision to let the person nearest stake the claim on a good spot for all of you later. The great thing about the hanami is that while it is not a year-round thing, there are many days you can celebrate it. Make sure to keep checking the 2019 Cherry Blossom Forecast.
Bring a Picnic Mat or Blanket
It is crucial to bring a picnic mat or blanket when you do decide to enjoy the hanami because the parks can get really crowded. Most people use it to reserve their choice picnic spots for their family and friends. Oftentimes, blankets and mats can overlap with neighboring ones and it’s completely normal especially in popular viewing parks.
Food & Water
It cannot be emphasized enough but if you want to fully enjoy the cherry blossom viewing from dusk until dawn, you should bring a lot of food and water for you and your companions. There will be vendor stalls available throughout the parks but it can be really expensive. Nearby convenience stores will be very busy too so to avoid going over the budget or spending too much time buying food and drinks, it is best to make your own preparations. Homemade food is the best after all so let your friends know of the plans so there is ample time to prepare.
The same logic goes for alcohol too. If you’re not much of a heavy drinker, remember to savor your alcoholic beverages instead of gulping it down as fast as you can. It’s not uncommon to find intoxicated revelers during this time so if you don’t want to end up like that, pace yourself!
Clean Up After Yourself
There are parks that don’t have garbage bins as guests are encouraged to take their trash home. It is important to clean up after yourself so remember to bring garbage bags and wet tissues. Disposable cups, plates, and chopsticks make clean up convenient and easy so you can use these for the party.
Be Prepared to Wait In Line for the Bathroom
A good tip to remember when in populated places is to go to the bathroom earlier than you need to. Most lines to use the lavatory facilities can take up to 30 minutes. If you hate waiting in line, you can bring your cellphone to check out social media or a gaming console but remember to still be attentive to not inconvenience others.
Not Yet Going to Japan?
The spring and autumn seasons in Japan can often be more expensive because of a lot of travelers who visit the country. It can be a problem for those who have a tight budget but it’s still doable nonetheless. If you feel like you’re gonna miss out on traveling to Japan this year, comfort yourself with some monthly goodie boxes straight from the land of the rising sun!
There are so many options to choose – ramen, snacks, and even gachapon! You don’t have to worry about the language barrier because each box comes with a booklet that explains each item in it. You might find something you like and decide to seek it out when you do visit Japan someday.
Have you been to a cherry blossom tour? Share your tips below.