What is HANAMI? An activity that every Japanese enjoy during Sakura season

by Yuta Shirahata

From the end of March to April marks the Sakura (cherry blossoms) season in Japan. Japanese people love to hold HANAMI, which is an outdoor party where people enjoy having delicious meals and drinks while looking at Sakura. Japanese people tend to be shy compared with people from other country’s people, but in Hanami, Japanese people become more active and get drunk a lot.

When I was a freshman in a company, my first job was to secure the place of Hanami for my colleagues and bosses. In the current younger generation and even my generation, it is already not common to do so, but 20 years ago, it was common and so many freshmen competed with each other to secure a place. In my case, I went to a park at 10am and waited for other people in there until 7pm (!?). I remembered in the middle of the day, I went to the toilet. After coming back, the sheet that I used to secure the place was blown away and other people had occupied the place…Hanami was really tough for me.  


Anyways, Hanami is quite important for Japanese people even though I spent my whole day just to secure a spot. Sakura is special for Japanese people, and we have so many Sakura related products in this season. For example, Asahi beer has a Sakura design and even Starbacks sells sakura related goods.

If you go to Don Don Donki in HK, you also can find “Dewazakura”, which is a Japanese Sake whose name has Sakura. This sake’s unique point is the fruity taste. You can feel the Japanse spring from its flavor. You also can find Sayuri, which is Nigori Sake available in Don Don Donki. The color is Sakura and you can feel the rice flavor of it. 


In order to share the happiness of the Sakura season, we found two products which would match perfectly with the sakes as mentioned. The first one is Floating Sakura glass in gold leaf. The bottom of the glass is specially carved in a shape where a piece of cherry blossoms seems to be floating on the surface. It looks magical and you could enjoy Sake and other liquor with this glass. Enjoying the Sakura season while staying at home is effortless.


Another product we found is a temperature-sensitive Sakura tumbler. True colour of Sakura will appear after you pour a cold drink such as Sake. This looks playful, while the quality is also high since it is manufactured in Tsubame city, one of the most famous cities for metal processing in Japan with more than 100 years history.

I personally miss Japan a lot, especially in this season. I am going to enjoy the Sakura season with these products, so I would be glad if you can also enjoy these products while thinking of Japanese Sakura.

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