It’s that time of spring! The cherry blossoms are blooming, the air is warm, and people are in a good mood for – hanami! However, hanami places can be over populated. Here are 10 must-learn manners for a pleasant hanami experience for you and the ones around you!
1. Be sure it’s an authorized place.
Not every space around a cherry blossom tree is a good place for hanami. Some places prohibit hanami. Be sure to check with the local regulations whether it’s authorized or not.
2. Place your sheet or blanket AWAY FROM the tree’s roots.
If you put it on the roots, it may cause the tree damage. The beauty of the cherry blossom is for everyone. Be careful not to cause damage in order to protect the tree.
3. NEVER TAKE THE BRANCHES.
You should never, ever take the branch because “it’s pretty.” The cherry blossom is for EVERYONE, NOT FOR YOU! Just watch and enjoy. Don’t be selfish.
4. Don’t spray paint/put up strings to claim your place.
It’s fine if you spread a sheet/blanket and you sit on it, and claim your place. It’s not fine if you spray paint your place or make a string-fence area to claim your place. Especially for spray painting, it will leave semi-permanent marks on the ground.
5. When taking your place, do so moderately.
Take your place according to the number of people. Don’t spread out unnecessarily. It is nice having a lot of space, but there are a lot of other people who need that space. Be considerate as others are of you.
6. Hold your alcohol.
The weather is nice, the view is magnificent, everyone’s having fun. But hold your beer, or whatever alcohol you’re drinking. The fun is always over when someone has too many and starts getting sick.
7. If you’re using fire, be sure it’s authorized.
Hanami + BBQ = FUN! But double check if it’s authorized, and take care of your fire. Always keep a bucket of water nearby, for when the fire starts getting a little too big.
8. Take your trash where it belongs – the trash can.
You’ve drank, you’ve eaten, the fun time is coming to an end. Now you have trash to take care of. Never leave your trash in the hanami area. Put it in a trash can if there’s one at the hanami place. Don’t trash it in a convenience store trash can. If there’s no trash can you can use nearby, take it home with you.
9. If you came by car, secure your parking place.
If you’re doing a hanami at a famous place, it’s going to be hard to secure a parking place. Research beforehand. Never illegally park your car by the road. Also, never drive drink. Always have a designated driver!
10. If you’re using the train, be sure to check the last train.
Hanami can continue into the wee hours of the night. Be sure to check the last train, or else you’re going to get stranded on the street, or join the long line for a taxi – if there are any in the area.