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Traditional & Culture

3 Must-Haves For the Perfect Cherry Blossom Viewing Experience

It’s cherry blossom season in Japan, so get ready to see the sakura with these handy items from Japan!

Getting Ready for Hanami

Whether you’re visiting Japan this year, or you want to enjoy the cherry blossoms in your own hometown, sakura season is the perfect time to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air. Spring is here, bringing with it the gift of warm breezes and perfect pink cherry blossom petals! (Also, unfortunately, the curse of allergy-triggering pollen.) There’s no better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons, a very Japanese tradition, than a day spent cherry blossom viewing (“hanami” in Japan) and relaxing outdoors. So pick your favorite sakura spot, and get ready with our list of cherry blossom viewing necessities!

① Decorations to Set the Sakura Mood

It’s hard to resist the many sakura-themed products that come out every spring in Japan, when each new pretty floral item is enough to put a bounce in your step. To celebrate the new season and the beautiful blooming flowers, some Japanese brands even release whole collections in time with the cherry blossoms each year, like these fabulous purses and wallets from Aether. But if you want to dress up for your hanami outing, there are more than a few ways to add a little sakura to your outfit. Check out this sakura ring from Coccodeco, and the many handmade accessories offered on the marketplace of Minne! Dress up your whole house, too, with cute cherry blossom items like these pinwheel magnets or all the amazing cups and plates available from Grape.

② Hanami Picnic Necessities

Excited to get out there and see the flowers? The next step is to prep your picnic basket! You don’t really need to have a picnic to make it “hanami” – just enjoying the flowers is enough – but the tradition of sitting down under the cherry trees, watching the petals rain down with every stiff breeze, and enjoying some food and drinks with a few of your friends is actually a tradition that dates back to ancient Japan. So first, choose the perfect basket! We like this basket available on Iichi, but you could also go for a basket-style handbag like this one from Tsuru by Mariko Oikawa, or this chic leather version from Irose. Then tuck in a picnic blanket to spread out on, make yourself a bento lunch, wrap it up in this irresistible Totoro handkerchief, and throw in some tasty Japanese snacks like these ginger almonds and cinnamon candies. The best days for hanami are sunny and warm, so don’t forget to bring a handy straw hat, like these classic ones made in Japan by the family-owned Tanaka Hat. Keep cool with this adorable leaf-shaped fan, too!

 For those who suffer from allergies during the spring, check out all the anti-pollen products available from Ainz-Tulpe! They offer everything from masks that keep the pollen out of your airways, to sprays and skincare that let pollen slip over your skin without sticking around!

③ Cameras for the Perfect Pics

For many hanami fanatics, taking pictures is the most important part! And as amazing as our phones have gotten at taking photos, they can’t quite beat a real camera with a high-quality lens. Luckily, you can get some amazing camera gear online, straight from Japan. Try Halia CameraKitamura CameraShirai Camera, or Japan Camera to find the perfect new lens (or new camera body!) for your cherry blossom photoshoot! You can even try out a little toy camera from Bonzart for some funky shots with the flowers. Whatever it takes to get that perfect shot!

In Japan or far overseas, a hanami picnic out among the cherry trees is the perfect way to make the most of the new spring season – warm weather, flowers, pollen, and all. Whether you’re making a packing list for your Tokyo trip or just looking to hang out in your own garden, gathering together just a few of these recommendations will help you make your next adventure into the ultimate cherry blossom viewing experience. Now you just have to decide where to see the flowers!

(There are some great hanami spots in Tokyo!)

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