How to Hanami Safely
Hanami (花見) is literally “flower viewing” and it’s a tradition so popular that we have forecasts to predict the best time to see the flowers in blossom. Fun fact: we have picnics under cherry blossoms nowadays, but years ago, it was plum blossoms! This year might be different from all those years of hanami though. Hanami safely with these top tips and have the best picnic worry-free.
1. Scout hanami locations outside the city
Shinjuku Park may seem tempting but don’t do it. There are gorgeous locations up in Saitama and down in Chiba. If you’re adventurous and have time, go further north in Gunma where its nature is incomparable.
My top suggestion? Visit Kinunodaisakura Park in Ibaraki, only an hour away from Tokyo Station. You’ll avoid the crowds there while having a lot more space to relax and enjoy your hanami safely.
2. Wear sunscreen
This is an often-missed tip! Even if you’re sitting under a big cherry blossom tree, the shade is not enough to protect you against those rays. Lather up and avoid waking up the next day with itchy, red skin.
3. Bring water
When we hanami, alcohol is guaranteed to be on the list. After all, hanami is the perfect time to hang out with friends. Let’s not be brash and forget we need to hydrate some other ways. Some people might be weaker with alcohol too, so grab a bottle of water along to make sure everyone safely enjoys their time.
4. Have mosquito repellent
Sitting around nature for a long time means you’re a buffet for those pesky insects. Don’t get bitten by buying repellent ahead of time. You can go into any drugstore and find them. You might want to buy medicine just in case too.
5. Bring trash bags
Japan is known for not having trash cans around because everyone is expected to share responsibilities in cleaning up. In keeping the parks clean and safe for everyone, bring a plastic bag to carry your trash home with you. You can put your dirtied mat into one of your bags after too.
Eager for hanami food inspiration? Check out how Pikachu rocks a sakura afro to celebrate the season!