If you’re heading to Japan within the next couple of weeks, you’ll be in for a lovely surprise – it’s cherry blossom season! O hanami – as it’s called in Japanese – is one of the most romantic times of year to visit Japan. But there’s more to taking in beautiful cherry blossoms than simply staring. Read on for some tips on how to celebrate Japanese cherry blossom season in Japan.
1. Check your calendar. Cherry blossoms bloom throughout the Japanese archipelago at different times throughout the early spring months; moving steadily upward from Okinawa to Hokkaido. If you’re specifically planning your visit to coincide with cherry blossom season, make sure to check any of the readily available cherry blossom calendars on the internet to make sure that the trees will be in bloom during your visit..
2. Find your spot. In any city, there will be specific parks and avenues that are famous for cherry blossom viewing, like Ueno Park in Tokyo or the Osaka Mint in Osaka. Check outtripwolf’s handy guide to ten great places to see the cherry blossoms bloom.
3. Get your equipment. It’s traditional in Japan to have O hanami parties – usually barbecues or picnics – to celebrate the season. If you’re on your own, load up on cans of beer and a bento lunchbox to enjoy underneath the white boughs. Drinking in public is perfectly legal in Japan, even during the day. So bottoms up! And Happy Hanami Season!
What’s your favorite way to celebrate cherry blossom season?