Plan your perfect trip this spring with these recommended sakura sightseeing spots
Between March and May each year is the season of Hanami, literally “flower viewing”. This is the tradition of visiting and admiring the beauty of seasonal flowers, namely cherry and plum blossoms. From casual picnics to fairly large parties, drinks and meals are enjoyed under the trees, as people flock to the cherry blossom hotspots to take advantage of the warmer weather that marks the coming of Spring.
It is said that the Japanese have been enjoying hanami since the 9th century. The cherry blossoms are expected to bloom around March 25th in Tokyo this year, which means the full bloom is expected to hit from April 1st to 9th, though it may vary depending on the weather.
How to Hanami?
Bring friends: Once you’ve checked the weather forecast, set a date, choose a park or riverside area and invite everyone you know!
Location, location, location: Identify the exact spot and get there early to reserve it – all you need is a tarp or picnic sheet.
Food & Drink: Stock up on everything you’ll need: bento, snacks, beer and sake etc. Don’t necessarily rely on the conbini – they’ll be busier and pricier – but knowing your nearest (for waste disposal and toilet facilities) is good planning none the less.
Be seasonal: They don’t necessarily make the best beer otsumami snacks, but get into the spirit and make sure you try some of the limited edition seasonal snacks that you can buy as soon as the first cherry blossom starts blooming!