Japan's Must-Read Magazine

Hanami Manners 101

First-time hanami goers may not be aware of the subtle underlying rules that govern cherry blossom viewing amongst thousands of other revellers. Here are some tips for improving your ‘sakura etiquette’ to ensure a splendid time is guaranteed for all:

• Don’t even think about hitting the bottle in a park where the trees haven’t bloomed yet. Just because everyone’s too pissed to actually view the blossoms at hanami, doesn’t mean people won’t notice you’re there when the blossoms aren’t.

• Snaring the best spot is imperative, and can be difficult when people ‘reserve’ their place in the park sometimes days in advance (maybe Lawson should start selling tickets). But resorting to underhanded tactics to secure your spot early doesn’t have to be an option. Maybe wait until people sitting in prime possies are passed out, then you can roll them to another spot with little distress. If they won’t budge, roll your blue tarp over the top of them – hey, you’re providing shelter and keeping them safe and warm. Everybody wins!

• For fuck’s sake, don’t bring your karaoke machine unless you want your life to be as short-lived as the blossoms (and far less appreciated). Just don’t go there. Better to lynch than be lynched.

• When nature calls, don’t relieve yourself on a cherry blossom tree. Way to kill a party and a tree, dude.

• If you forget to bring your blue tarp, it’s probably not okay to park yourself on someone else’s. And if you happen to come across an apparently unused one, make sure you haven’t just laid claim to a homeless person’s roof. Ask politely and you may be allowed to share.