Cherry Blossoms at Inokashira Park
My first hanami was at the beautiful Inokashira Park on the weekend before full bloom (end of March 2016). I’d been to Kichijoji before, but not to the park. I was excited to spend the day drinking and eating under the blossoms with friends!
The lighting and colours at the park were crazy beautiful – it looked like something straight out of an impressionists dream. I can imagine Monet could have gotten some great inspiration here.
We heard it would be really busy, so me and another friend arrived before 11 to reserve our spot with a big blue tarpaulin. Most of the good spots had already been taken and some people were already blind drunk hehe.
What is Hanami?
Hanami translates to flower viewing, but it means having a big outdoor party under the Sakura trees. This is a very exciting time all around Japan because it signifies the start of spring. The Sakura trees are amazing, but unfortunately they only last around 2 weeks – so everyone really makes the most of it!
Hanami season generally involves:
– large gatherings of friends, family or co-workers
– a looot of drinking during the day. Usually sake and beer
– eating some delicious food (bento and snacks)
Luckily Japanese people are generally very friendly drunks (not aggressive) so the whole atmosphere is super fun – like one big outdoor picnic party.
The reality of hanami – if you don’t turn up before 10am, all the nice spots on the grass are gone! No worries, it was still heaps of fun.
We spent most of the day eating and drinking under the sun, and making new friends 🙂
Afterwards I went with a couple of new friends to a hammock cafe in Kichijoji.