10 Must Know Rules and Tips for Cherry Blossom Viewing
It's spring time, which means it's cherry blossom season! One of the best parts of spring is enjoying hanami, or flower viewing. Whether you're taking a stroll under the trees or planning a hanami picnic, there are some things to keep in mind to protect the trees and ensure everyone can enjoy their time. Read on for ten important hanami manners you should know!
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1. Be Sure Picnics are AllowedMasaki Tokutomi/Flickr
Not every space around a cherry tree is a good place for hanami, and some places prohibit hanami picnics altogether. If you're not sure, check the website or local regulations to find out whether your spot allows picnics or not. If you're looking for a good place to go, check out our list of 20 Best Places to Enjoy Sakura Cherry Blossoms in Japan.
2. Place Your Picnic Blanket Away from Roots
Sitting or waking on the roots of cherry blossom trees can cause significant damage, especially when you factor in how much foot traffic busy hanami spots can get! The beauty of the cherry blossoms is for everyone, so be careful about where you place your picnic blanket in order to protect the trees.
3. Don't Take Branch Cuttings
As pretty as the trees are, you should never break off a branch or take a cutting for yourself. As you can imagine, if everyone decided to do this, it would quickly ruin the experience for all.
If you'd like some cherry blossoms as a decoration, you can often find branches sold at florists during cherry blossom season.
4. Don't Claim Your Spot With Spray Paint or Rope Fences
It's fine to claim a spot for your picnic by spreading out a picnic blanket and sitting on it. It's not OK to use spray paint or rope fencing to claim your place. This is a visual nuisance and can damage the area.
5. Don't Take More Space Than You Need
It's nice having a lot of space, but remember there are a lot of other people who are looking forward to their hanami picnic, too. Be considerate and don't spread your things out unnecessarily.
6. Watch Your Drinking
The weather is nice, the view is magnificent, and everyone's having fun. Many hanami spots allow drinking, but don't overdo it. The fun is over when someone has a few too many and starts getting rowdy or sick.
7. Only Barbeque In Authorized Areas
Hanami + BBQ = FUN! Be sure you check that it's allowed at your hanami spot of choice and follow the usual fire safety rules. Always keep a bucket of water nearby in case things get out of hand.
8. Leave No Garbage Behind
You've drank, you've eaten, the fun is coming to an end. Now you have trash to take care of. Never leave your trash in the hanami area. Either use the trash cans or, if there's not one you can use nearby, take it home with you.
9. Research Parking in Advance
If you're visiting a famous cherry blossom spot, it's likely going to be hard to secure a parking place. Do your research beforehand and never illegally park your car. If you're drinking, remember to either nominate a designated driver, or skip the car entirely and use Japan's great public transport instead!
10. Don't Miss the Last Train
Hanami can continue into the wee hours of the night, but be aware that trains in Japan can stop a bit earlier than you might expect. Be sure to check the last train times, or else you'll find yourself in a long line for an often costly taxi.
We hope these tips have let you feeling more confident about what to do during a hanami picnic!
If you're planning a trip to Japan this spring, check out our 2020 Cherry Blossom Forecast! This article gives you all you need to know about the most beautiful cherry blossom spots in Japan and when they're forecasted to be in their peak in 2020.
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.