Translated by Hilary Keyes
Savoring The Spring: A Cherry Blossom Event For Visitors To Japan
Written by MATCHA-PR
Hanami (cherry blossom viewing party) is a distinctly Japanese event that takes place each spring. How about participating in a truly unique and luxurious hanami event this year?
Sakura, or cherry blossoms, are the flower of spring in Japan. During the spring, Hanami (cherry blossom viewing parties) are held in various places in order to appreciate the beauty of these delicate blossoms.
Although it can be a lot of fun to take in the sight of the pink flowers at famous spots surrounded by other party-goers, wouldn't you like to experience a special hanami that is different from anything else?
Today we would like to introduce you to an event unlike any other, where those who participate can gain a far deeper understanding of the essences of Japanese culture: a premium hanami event held at a luxury hotel where participants can savor the rich traditions of the Japanese spring.
What is Hanami?
During the spring in Japan when the cherry blossoms bloom, people hold an event known as an 'ohanami', or cherry blossom viewing party. This is a seasonal event wherein the beauty of the spring sakura is appreciated. The history of the cherry-blossom viewing is very old, and the beginnings go back to the Heian era. During this time, the nobility would gather under the blossoming trees and hold poetry recitals or competitions themed after the sakura. Over time, it went from being a leisure active of the nobility to one that is enjoyed by those of all walks of life, and the most popular form of the hanami today is to have a picnic under the trees with friends. To learn more about hanami, please refer to Hanami - How To Enjoy Cherry Blossom Viewing, and Sakura Viewing Guide - The 44 Best Sakura Viewing Spots in Japan.
Savor Japanese Spring in Tokyo: Premium Cherry Blossom Viewing Party
Today we would like to introduce an event planned for visitors to Japan, a limited-access premium cherry blossom viewing event. In addition to being able to appreciate beautiful cherry blossoms at one of the most famous sites in the city, you can enjoy cultural experiences related to Japan at the same time.
Those concerned with language barriers need not worry as interpreters will be provided for this event. As it is a limited access event, participants do not have to worry about the event becoming too crowded or noisy either.
Strolling through the gardens of a luxury hotel on a spring day - wouldn't you like to experience a day filled with cherry blossoms, including the light pink Somei Yoshino, a species of sakura said to be the most beautiful of all?
The date and time of the event are as follows:
Date: March 29th, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM (Japanese time)
Location: Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa Kihinkan Guest House (Shinagawa, Tokyo)
Participation Fee: 20,000 yen (per person in Japanese yen)
Maximum Number of Participants: the first 20 to register (for ages 6 and over)
Languages: Interpretation services available
Enjoying the Aesthetics of the Sakura and Koto: the Full Event Program
The event is scheduled to last for three and a half hours. The program will be as follows:
1. Take seats in the Kihinkan Guest House hall and appreciate the cherry blossoms.
2. Listen to the professional nature guides explanation and stroll through the hotel's cherry blossom garden.
3. Enjoy Japanese cuisine designed around the theme of cherry blossoms by the hotel chef (course meal).
4. See a koto performance centered on Japanese spring music (performed in kimono).
5. Experience making pressed flower bookmarks using cherry blossoms with pressed flower artists.
6. Enjoy spring and cherry blossomed themed sweets and tea.
First, you will wander through the grounds of this cherry tree filled paradise under the guidance of professional nature tour guides, then enjoy Japanese spring and sakura themed cooking at Kibibakan, a Western-style building built during the Meiji Era.
That's not all - there will also be performances of sakura-themed Japanese traditional music, played on the koto, a pressed-flower artist will lead a demonstration in how to make a cherry blossom bookmark, and a Japanese tea and spring sweet break will be taken - this is truly a premium event that fully encompasses the concept of the spring and cherry blossoms.
The Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa: A Luxurious Representative of Japan
The location of these sakura festivities is the Shinagawa (Tokyo) based Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, a luxury hotel that has been loved by both domestic and international guests since its opening in 1959.
Despite being closely located to the entrance of the busy Shinagawa Station, it has a large garden measuring 20,000 m² and is surrounded by rich nature settings.
Within this garden are 232 trees of 19 different varieties of cherry blossoms, including the Somei Yoshino variety, which means that during the cherry blossom season, this garden becomes exceptionally popular with visitors.
* This photo has only an illustrative purpose.
The main location of the cherry blossom event is the Kihinkan Guest House, which was built over 100 years ago during the Meiji era by Katayama Tokuma, the famed architect that also built the palace residence of one of the branches of the Imperial Family.
Incorporating both a Neo-Baroque style and French-Renaissance style, the elegant atmosphere and luxurious decoration finished by solid Japanese craftsmanship have conveyed the gorgeous atmosphere of the time to the present.
How to Apply and Important Points to Note
How to Apply (Web Only)
Japan Premium Event Desk
Phone Number: +81-3-6743-1596 ** For a fee, the call can be accepted in English, Chinese, and Thai.
** This is an international call and will be charged accordingly by your provider. Please be aware of this point.
Reception Hours: Weekdays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm (Japanese time) ** Calls on March 20th, Saturdays and Sundays not available.
- Applications for the hanami event are limited to 4 persons per application (from ages 6 and up).
- Payment must be made by the main applicant via credit card at the time of application (Accepted cards are JCB, VISA, MasterCard or via Paypal).
- Application confirmation documents, etc. will be sent to the representative's email address from 'Japan Premium Event Application Reception' within one week after application. Also, the final confirmation and guidance email will be sent from this address to the representative's email address 10 days before the event is to take place.
- Event Planning Company: J&J Group (JTB & JCB Group)
Important Points to Note
- Applications will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. Please be advised that it may be full at the time of your application.
- A cancellation fee in the full amount of your application will be incurred from the time of application.
- The price of this event is for the event itself only and does not include airfare, travel in Japan, accommodation costs, or any other fees.
- During the event, there is a chance that you may be interviewed. Please inform us at the time if your interview or photo may not be published.
- Interpreters will be provided at the event.
- For the hanami event, as this is a natural occurrence beyond our control, it may not be possible to see the cherry blossoms during the event time. Event fees will not be refunded in such an instance.
- The event will be held rain or shine.
- If you or anyone in your application has any food allergies, please state them clearly in your application.
- Those that participate in the event will be asked to fill out a questionnaire.
- Program contents may be subject to change. In this case, applicants will be contacted in advance by the above-mentioned email address.
The venue of this event is located in Shinagawa, which is easily accessed from Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akihabara, and other major stations by train without transfers. If you have plans to travel to Tokyo at this time, then please take part in this luxurious hanami party experience.
Sponsored by J&J Group