tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese Kitchen
Not only the powerful and wealthy indulged in flower-viewing. Hanami also has a long-established tradition among agricultural communities in Japan. Carrying food and drink to where local cherry trees bloomed, farmers would imbibe while wishing for a good harvest. Hanami rituals became established among common folk during the Edo period (1600-1868) in part because the Tokugawa shogunate promoted cherry tree planting as an aspect of city planning. Flower-viewing became a popular subject for woodblock prints that pictorially chronicled life in Old Edo.