Cherry Blossom Party Checklist
This entry was posted on March 24, 2013.
Cherry Blossoms are iconic in Japanese culture. They appear in haikus and paintings, and are even on the 100 yen coin, which is comparable to our dollar bill. Parties to view the cherry blossoms have been popular for over a thousand years, and are held all over country. The parties are called 'Hanami' in Japan, and different people have Hanami parties in different ways.
Young people tend to break out the Sake, the Frisbees, the guitars, and then use the opportunity to socialize. And why not- meeting your boyfriend or girlfriend under a perfect sea of spring flowers is a great way to kick off a relationship. Older people and families usually take out the cameras and go for a stroll around the parks or riversides to enjoy the incredible beauty of spring.
Now, everyone's got their own idea of what a good Hanami is, but here at AFG, we want to help you and your friends have the perfect cherry blossom viewing experience. So whether you're more interested in the socializing, the beauty of nature, or just want another excuse to eat delicious Japanese food, we've got you covered.
THE CHECK LIST
TARP. Make sure it's big enough for everyone there, and remember this is a Japanese holiday, so take off your shoes when sitting on the tarp!
CAMERA. You want to keep your precious memories, don't you? And the cherry blossoms are incredibly beautiful. You'll be kicking yourself if you forget this important item. Trust me, I've done it.
ENTERTAINMENT. We all love to sit down with some food and sake, but it's also very common to use the Hanami as a chance to play in the park. So have a pickup game of soccer, practice your guitar chords, or throw a football around. It's spring time, get some exercise!
FOOD. A hanami is usually based around a picnic, and food ranks pretty highly at those things. So we recommend foods that can be transported easily, that don't leave a lot of garbage to clean up, and that don't need a lot of prep time. Ramen and Miso Soup are probably a bad idea.
Try these foods instead:
-Onigiri - A rice ball with a variety of possible ingredients inside, usually fish. These are pretty easy to carry around, and are fairly tough- no need to worry about throwing them in your bag with a six pack and some soccer balls.
-Kara-age and Yakitori - This is Japanese Fried Chicken, or grilled chicken on a stick. These are delicious when home made, but they can be bought at most Japanese restaurants.
MANNERS! - Remember to say 'Itadakimasu' (Thanks for the food) before eating the meal, and 'Gochisosama' (Thanks for the food) afterwards. And remember, it's appropriate to pour sake for others, and let them pour it for you.
I hope this check list gives you some ideas for how you want to celebrate this special time, or at the very least, motivates you to get out and enjoy the springtime! Please let us know if you have any suggestions for better ways to enjoy the cherry blossoms, or if you have any special Hanami recipes. If you're looking for some unique Japanese foods to try out this Cherry Blossom season, you can always consult our Recipe Section.