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?
In case you need something to read in that long bathroom line…
“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.” –Raven Crime Reads
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!