The cherry blossoms are blooming in Tokyo!
Here are 5 Tips to enjoy a “Hanami” picnic with kids under the cherry blossoms:
- Location is hugely important in order to not only enjoy the cherry blossoms but also to make sure your kids have fun. Choose a spot under a tree that is blooming, that has a big grassy area for your kids to run around freely, and far enough away from the road so you don’t need to worry about their safety!
- My Top 3 favorite spots: Shinjuku Gyoen, Kinuta Park, and a very secret Japanese park in Hamamatsucho called “Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden”
- Picnic blankets & shoe etiquette
- Whether you are picnicking with your own kids or with other families, it is a MUST to bring blankets. The blue tarp on the ground is seriously not enough – because it is still freezing in Tokyo! The ground is cold so make sure you bring some warm blankets to keep you and your kids warm.
- Shoe etiquette – there are not many rules when having a picnic in Japan. The only thing to make sure is that your kids take off their shoes! Ha. There is a photo below showing my daughter running all over the blankets in her shoes. It is extremely hard to stop kids doing this, especially when they are toddlers. I spent the whole time putting her shoes on and off about a hundred times! None of the other kids seemed to be doing it – I don’t know how they know these things. In the end I sat my kids down to eat and then took them off to play on the grass. But don’t worry too much, people really don’t mind. They are understanding!
- Food and drinks
- Don’t worry if you don’t have time to prepare a handmade picnic basket. The most awesome thing about having a picnic in Japan is that it is perfectly acceptable to grab some rolls or sushi from the local convenience store on the way. This is doubly awesome if you have kids! As it can sometimes be an achievement to even get to the picnic on time, let alone come with food and drinks in hand 🙂 In terms of sharing food and drinks, why not take some extra beers for the adults or some kitkats for the kids. Everyone will love it!
- If you are going to a family picnic, make sure you take your kids toys and even your child’s bicycle to share with the other kids. Bubbles are very popular too – buy a few packets of these at the store on the way and your kids can hand them out to all their friends. Bubbles are super easy and will keep them entertained for at least 30min!
- And of course, make sure you take your camera to take precious photos! Cherry-blossom-time is VERY special as it only happens once a year, and they are really very beautiful.
Have a wonderful picnic under the cherry blossoms!
Here are some action photos of last weekend with my kids 🙂
Here is a video from one of our cherry blossom picnics in Shinjuku Gyoen!