Survival Japanese: Inviting friends to see Hanami
(cherry blossom viewing party)

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During the first few weeks of April, the general population in Japan begins to gather under cherry blossom trees. Their purpose:, no to enjoy the changing colors and welcome the coming of spring.
(Extensive history of hanami below)

A : 今度の土曜日暇?
A : Kondo no doyoubi hima?
A : Are you free next Saturday?

B : あなたのためなら、いつでも暇!
B : Anata no tame nara, itsu demo hima!
B : If its for you, I'm free everyday!

A : じゃ、花見いきません?川沿いの道の近くにいいところを見つけた。
A : Jya, hanami ikimasen? Kawa zoi no michi no chikaku ni ii tokoro o mitsuketa.
A : Then, how about hanami? I found a nice spot next to the road by the river.

B : いいね。では、土曜日5時スタート?
B : iine. Dewa, doyoubi 5ji sutaato?
B : Good, Start Saturday at 5 then?

A : 決定。
A : kettei.
A : Decided (its decided)

The above conversation is rather casual in nature. For this reason, you will find many articles like "ga" and "ni" are missing.


1. 暇 
Hima literally means free time. You can also use the phrase 時間ある? (jikan aru?) <do you have time?>

2. あなたのためなら、いつでも暇!
"ため"(tame) means for the purpose of I.E.
何のため に いきますか? (nanno tame ni ikimasuka?)
<Why are you going; for what purpose are you going>
"いつでも"(itsudemo) <whenever; anytime>

3. 川沿い
"Kawa zoi" actually means the river bank

4. 決定
"Kettei" <decision> is actually the noun form of "to decide." In casual conversation, it is often abbreviated.
(Normally, it is 決定する (kettei suru).

<Hanami History>
In the 7th century as aristocrats wrote poems and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Sakura. During Japan’s feudal period, the Sakura became the symbol and code of the Samurai. At the start of the Meiji-era, Emperor Meiji insisted that all Sakura trees be cut down so their would be no reminder of the feudal period. Fortunately, the tradition has returned and groups of friends, family and co-workers enjoy the Hanami by having picnics under the blooming Sakura trees*

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