April 09


How To Survive A Cherry Blossom Party

It looks easy, right? Meet friends at park, spread out tarp, drink beer, admire cherry blossoms. But o-hanami parties are fraught with hidden dangers. Allow me to save you from certain disaster.

1: Bring appropriate reading material

Be sure you tote along something to read while standing in line for the bathroom. Recommended titles are War & Peace, The Complete Works Of Charles Dickens, and (for those of you who like nonfiction) The Origin Of Species.

2: Aim for the perfect balance

Because of the Bathroom Issue, the goal of all veteran o-hanami partiers is maximizing drunkenness while minimizing making it to chapter 27 in any of the above books. Drinking slowly, yet relentlessly, seems to be the preferred method.

3: Do not go on a diet the day before your o-hanami party

The day after is the recommended time. It’s easy, because after 8 hours of snarfing down o-hanami snacks, you will wake up the next morning swearing off potato chips, octopus balls and alcohol FOREVER.

4: Inspect socks for embarrassing holes before departing

Yes, you must remove your shoes before setting foot on The Tarp. What are you, some kind of barbarian?

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more