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Hanami is one of the most popular events of Spring. Crowds of people - families, groups of friends, and groups from companies sit under the fully open cherry blossoms or sakura, usually on plastic sheeting, and have a picnic celebration. The picnic fare consists of a wide variety of foods, snack foods, and sake (rice wine) or other drinks. The activities often include dancing and karaoke in addition to the cherry blossom viewing. In very popular places such as Ueno Park and Aoyama Cemetary in Tokyo the competition for prime picnic spots is intense. Company groups and family members claim spots by arriving very early in the morning and sitting all day long until the real celebrations begin in the evening. It is not unusual to see a young man in a business suit sitting under a cherry tree early in the morning reserving a space for his company. The new employees are traditionally given this job of sitting all day long to reserve space for the company celebration

Paper lanterns add to the spectacle of the sakura


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