Looking for something a little different to do next weekend? Cherry Blossoms are now in bloom and they are a great excuse to pack a picnic and get outside.
Your own picnic can be as simple as stopping by a store on the way to the park. Even the most basic supermarkets have a fresh roll section. Bagging your own rolls means you get a greater variety to chose from and the exact number you want. At the deli counter, you can buy just enough fresh cold cuts for your picnic and they usually have mustard and mayonnaise packets, so grab a few. Fruit wise, oranges and bananas are a great because you don’t have to wash them and salty snacks like olives and potato chips travel well. Add a blanket and bottle of wine from home and you’ve got an inexpensive way to enjoy the weekend.
In Japan the devotion to this springtime ritual is so great that companies encourage their employees to take afternoons off and enjoy lunch under the blossoms with their coworkers. On weekends, parks across the country are packed with people equipped with bento boxes, beer, and sake. Hanami literally means looking at flowers in Japanese, so even if you don’t have cherry blossoms nearby you can still honor the tradition by getting out of the house and under the trees.
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Photo: Japanese House Philadelphia, PA