Translated by Sandy Lau
This Is What You’ll Need! A Guide To Hanami Essentials
Hanami, a party you enjoy while viewing the cherry blossoms, is what you’ll want to do while in Japan in the spring. Did you know there are several handy and indispensable items for hanami? We’ll introduce a guide to hanami essentials!
Written by MATCHA
What is Essential for Hanami?
Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) is an event you can’t miss during the spring while the flowers are blooming. Not only will you be able to view the cherry blossoms while on a stroll, but it’ll become an unforgettable experience of everyone gathering around with food and alcohol as they view the flowers while chatting.
“But, what should I bring?”
We’ll help you with those worries! We’ll introduce the essentials for hanami and convenient items that you’ll be happy to have on hand in this article.
1. Alcohol, Side Dishes, Lunch Boxes
Hanami won’t start without the alcohol and side dishes! Be sure to prepare as many as your favorite foods as you want from the supermarket and convenience stores. There are even side dish corners with options that go well with alcohol gathered in one place in convenience stores.
The trick to snacks is to have a good balance in both salty and sweet snacks. Of course, it’s definitely okay for you to bring a lunch box you bought from the store to eat, too!
Where to Purchase: convenience stores, supermarkets, etc.
2. Paper Plates, Disposable Chopsticks, Cups
We have the alcohol ready. There’s also tons of snacks. The lunch boxes are also perfect… oh, but how are we going to eat them?
To avoid this situation, don’t forget to prepare paper plates and disposable chopsticks. Plastic cups are firmer and more reliable than paper cups, so we recommend those.
There are also times when everyone gets mixed up on whose cup is whose when drinking alcohol. For that reason, you won’t go wrong when you bring a permanent marker and write your names on your cups beforehand!
Where to Purchase: convenience stores, supermarkets, etc. Disposable chopsticks come with the lunch boxes purchased at convenience stores and other similar stores.
3. Picnic Sheet
Although there are parks with chairs, in most situations many people spread out a picnic sheet on the road and enjoy their hanami this way. Be sure to bring a sheet at the size you need depending on how many people there are. Sometimes the ground will be hard and uneven, so we recommend using a sheet that is as thick as possible.
Where to Purchase: general stores such as Don Quixote; there are also a few convenience stores and drugstores where you can purchase them from.
Be sure to use tissues when your hands become dirty or if you accidentally spill your drinks. You’ll be able to wipe your hands and mouths clean if you have wet tissues (photo) on hand.
It’s also convenient to have toilet paper with you. It’s due to the fact that often there is no toilet paper in portable toilets despite being maintained depending on the hanami venue.
Where to Purchase: convenience stores, drugstores, etc.
5. Garbage Bags
There will be more garbage than you think. It is etiquette to take responsibility for your own trash and to clean it up. Neatly separate the trash into cans, bottles, burnable garbage, and non-burnable garbage, then bring it to the designated garbage area.
It’s handy to have garbage bags in several large, medium, and small sizes. Small bags can also be used as sickness bags when needed.
Where to Purchase: You purchase these bags at convenience stores or supermarkets, but it’s also possible to use the plastic bags you receive when shopping.
6. Convenient Things to Have on Hand
An Item to Use as a Landmark
There are many groups of people that do hanami together. It may be easier for others to find where your party is when you have a landmark item for those that are late or returning from the bathroom.
This will be useful when the weather is unstable or when needed. Be sure to place it into your bags beforehand.
Cardboard can be used as a cushion when the ground is hard or as a table when assembled. It’s surprisingly useful to have on hand.
Lap Blanket or Outer Wear
There will be some days when it will still be cold during the hanami period, so it would be best to have a lap blanket or outer wear with you.
Prepare Your Items and Have a Fun Hanami!
All that’s left to do is to enjoy hanami! Properly secure your essentials and have a memorable hanami!
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Original Author: Saito Shinnosuke
This article is the 2018 edition of an article published on April 8, 2014.