WRONG: Sakura does NOT happen in the office!!! PingMag tells you how to do it right!

How to prepare for Hanami

Sakura, the Japanese cherry blossom, is a miracle that happens over night! While the whole nation impatiently watches the Sakura-forecast on the news every night (When is it going to hit my town? Tomorrow or next week? When do I have to take a weekend off? Will it rain a lot this year or will it be warm???) the shops prepare their Sakura goods and dedicate whole areas to this nation-wide event, which only lasts a few days.

written by Uleshka

Hanami – watching flowers along the Meguro river

Millions of Sakura songs, stories, paintings, Kimono patterns… have been inspired by this very flower. Let’s take a little look

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at the big variety of Sakura goods you can find around the stores.

Sakura umbrellas – protecting from rain and too much sun

Hanami – literally meaning flower viewing – is all about sitting outside under the beautiful cherry trees, meeting friends and family, drinking, eating, singing and having fun. Here are some ideas how to make sure you are super-Hanami-equipped!

All you need for outside:

protecting masks against hayfever

For some outside means hayfever! Well – there is a big selection of protecting masks to chose from for sure!

sheets for picnic under cherry trees

Don’t only fight for the best tree to celebrate under this year, make sure you also get a stylish sheet to sit on! Since most people just drag along their big blue sheet to mark their territory – try to make it better with some funky decoration you can get at Tokyu Hands. These festive paper decorations actually fold up to a great long line of Sakura flowers in bright pink!

festive decoration

Decorating with Sakura

There are tons of other decoration goods, too. I like those coasters in Sakura petal shape

Sakura petal coasters

or extra paper-petals to throw (in case the wind doesn’t blow enough petals all around you already).

paper petals

Prepare your lunch-box

Now remember, you might get hungry while sitting in the sun. Show off your cooking skills and prepare a great bento (Japanese style lunch box) with all those great things you can get at your local supermarket.

bento-corner of a local supermarket
cherry shaped soy-sauce refill containers

Chiemi found these excellent soy-sauce refill cherries in the bento-corner. Once you marvelled your little dishes, make sure to find a suitable bento-box for it!

rabbit and sakura bento-box

And in case you just can’t be bothered: there are lots of beautifully prepared Sakura-bentos to buy anyway…

Sakura-bento from Tokyu’s Food Show department

When it comes to food, there are of course millions of sakura-taste things: Sakura tea, Sakura rice, I had a Sakura-soup with mochi the other day in Kyoto (mmmmh!) and then there is of course the famous Sakura-mochi! In case you like the unusual taste of the pickled cherry leaf that wrapps itself around that little rice ball – this is certainly a delicacy!

Sakura-mochi: on the top with pickled cherry flowers, on the bottom with cherry leaf


You can carry your food in a traditional style Japanese furoshiki (a piece of cloth folded in a certain way) – or for those who prefer western style bags – there is also quite a range with Sakura patterns to chose from!

Sakura pattern furoshiki

Sakura pattern bag


You won’t have problems finding pretty much anything- Sakura: kitchenware, toys and anything that is decorative such as these candles or luxurious bath salt.

Sakura shaped candle

Sakura shaped bath soap
luxurious bath salts

How to impress with a Sakura-phone

In case you like decorating, you might like to customize your mobile phone to match the event? Here is my favorite selection of Sakura-extras.

rabbit doing Hanami

Sakura sticker phone

good luck QP charm

Sakura bag for your phone

Sakura to wear

But why stop with your phone, when you can also dress in ‘Sakura?

hair pins and rings with flowers

There are some really beautiful Sakura accessories around (I avoid the whole Kimono-corner here, since that is certainly an article on its own).

Sakura hair bands

Sakura ring
a hat for guys

What I really like are Sakura-nails, though! That is excellent!

pink petal nail designs

cherry nail designs

A postcard for a friend

Well – in case you just want to go straight to your favorite park, enjoy the good weather and celebrate – you might still miss a dear friend or two! A good opportunity to enjoy being far away from the computer and write a good old-fashioned post card while smiling at the sun. I’m sure that will make someone very happy.

lots of postcards to choose from

the one I liked best
big pop-up Sakura card

After too much sweet Sake

If you are out with the kids, please try to be decent! In case you are out with your friends or colleges, though, go for it and enjoy what’s on the market! Tokyu Hands’ costume department has a huge range of silly costumes to play around with after warming yourself up with hot sweet Sake (Ama-zake – not sure about the non-alcoholic remark on WikiPedia)

Mount Fuji with Sakura – hat

…and flip-top

Sakura wrestler mask

sexy pink panties for guys with a Sakura branch and flowers

Now – make sure you find a good spot for this weekend! Have fun!

  • http://www.ridaalbarazi.com Rida Al Barazi

    I heard a lot about Hanami, specially from my friend in Japan, and always wished to know more about it.. PingMag gave me a very nive overview on how much Japanese are fully prepared for such occasion and how much they love this season.
    I wish I can visit Japan in the same period one day :)

  • http://www.interiority.com/ Massimo Fiorentino

    Hehe, what diversity! I also look forward to try it one day. Certainly on my “before-I-die-to-do-list”! (^_^)

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  • Josh J

    Great article, thank you for posting such fun pics. I love how people totally change during sakura time — coming out of the train station and just looking up at the trees, ooing and aaawing as if they have been transported to heaven.

    Here is a Flickr set I posted from last year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmania/sets/72057594093670954/

  • http://www.paavani.in/blog Paavani

    Ohh, I didn’t know about it. :) Its quite informative. And lovely pictures you put here.

  • http://wagering-r.blogspot.com/ Anihma

    Respect owner and nice to look !Wagering Online

  • http://www.artdesign.org.cn Olltta

    nice-eating images!!!

  • http://nosuch.blog.com wl

    kawaii des! certainly informative and interesting : ) i like.

  • http://www.knight-edge.com/ G

    awesome article! very pretty and i bet my gf will love this!!

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/felinefei/ Fei

    Yay! thanks for posting the sukara season!! I thought u may have forgotton or something XD

    Another wonderfull article Uleshka ^____^

  • http://www.pingmag.jp Uleshka

    hey! I was thinking of going to Ueno this year, but Josh’s images from the Imperial Palace are really tempting, too….

  • http://www.thebrownbagstudio.com nukie

    Hah! This is madness… I didnt know the Japanese are so into the Sakura thingy. Unbelievable. The sexy pink panties with Sakura branch and flower is hilarious. Love the picnic sheets and the yummy looking bento and mochi! Cheers!

  • http://www.pingmag.jp Uleshka

    Sakura = Japan!


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  • http://l-i-l-i-a.blogspot.com Rose

    Just the perfect article for a sakura freak like me!

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  • Melissa

    Please help me: Where can I find Hanging Paper Sakura Branches, as seen in the movie Lost in Translation? Where can I buy them online??? I’ve been looking forever. Please email me at mjmisch@mac.com THank YOU!!!

  • http://skdjfjeks.com megan

    hey i need to know how to get cherries on my nails please help me by hittin me back on this site

  • http://www.pingmag.jp Uleshka

    answer: buy – glue – paste – done ;-)

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    Looks delicious

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  • http://www.istanbulmotokurye.com kurye

    Just the perfect article for a sakura freak like me!

  • http://aarynpolzer@yahoo.com Aaryn

    I am still looking for the paper cherry blossom chandelier seen in the movie, Lost in Translation. Looks as though it may be found here at Tokyu Hands…does anyone know what I am talking about? Please email me with any info. Thanks, Aaryn Polzer.

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