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Chatter by the Cherry Tree


Chatter by the Cherry Tree

Ohanami (cherry-blossom picnic) season is now in full swing!

Sakura-chirashi-01TV and online flower forecasts are charting the progress of the sakura zensen (cherry-blossom front) as it gradually blooms its way up from Kyushu to Hokkaido over the course of the month, leaving a sea of blue tarps and a slew of sloshed salarymen in its petal-spotted tracks.
But it’s not just the salarymen out in the parks propped up against tree trunks – this time-honored Japanese custom is shared by families, students, friends, and foreigners alike. It can be a serious business too, with groups sending a member out to the hanami site early in the morning to basho tori (claim) a prime picnic possie.
Armed with tasty hanami bento (picnic lunchboxes) and endless supplies of ocha (tea), biru (beer) and nihon-shu (Japanese liquor), there’s no better way to spend a spring day. Whoever you find yourself exchanging sake and wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) with, allow your Japanese to blossom with these handy hanami phrases.

Useful Expressions

Here’s a good spot. ここはいい場所です。 Koko wa ii basho desu.
I’ve been here since 7am. 朝7時からきているよ。 Asa shichi-ji kara kiteiru yo.
Are we allowed to barbecue here? ここでバーベキューをしても大丈夫ですか? Koko de barbekyu wo shitemo daijyobu desu ka?
Looks like the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. 桜は満開みたいですね。 Sakura wa mankai mitai desu ne.
More sake please! もっと酒をください。 Motto sake o kudasai.
Chug! 一気! Ikki!
I’m not a strong drinker. お酒は弱いです。 Osake wa yowai desu.
Can I have a rice cake please? お餅をください。 Omochi o kudasai.
Can you please pass me a paper plate? 紙皿を取ってくれる? Kami-zara o totte kureru?
Here, have a rice ball. おにぎりをどうぞ。 Onigiri wo dozo.
Wow! Did you make these yourself? すごい! 自分で作ったの? Sugoi! Jibun de tsukutta no?
This is delicious! これはおいしいです。 Kore wa oishii desu!
Let’s make sure we take all the trash with us. ゴミは必ず持ち帰りましょう。 Gomi wa kanarazu mochi kaerimasho!
I think I’m drunk. よっぱらったみたいです。 Yopparatta mitai desu.

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