A subdued sakura season is a sad turn of events for Japan, but free pizza always puts a smile on people’s faces.

In an especially cruel twist of fate, the coronavirus outbreak is happening right as the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom in Japan. The entire country looks forward to sakura season, especially getting together with friends and family for extended, day-long picnics under the blossoms, but this year health officials are strongly discouraging such gatherings under social distancing initiatives, and the flowers’ short lifespan means that they’ll all have fallen from the branches by the time the coronavirus is no longer a concern.

It’s a sad turn of events, but free pizza is something that always puts smiles on people’s faces, and that’s what Japan is getting from Domino’s Pizza. In hope of encouraging people to avoid crowded parks and gardens, Domino’s Japan has started an At-Home Hanami (cherry-blossom viewing party) promotion, the centerpiece of which is a collection of beautiful sakura videos, with breathtaking cherry blossom footage with a variety of audio accompaniments.

First up is the Feel Nature video, with the soothing sounds of chirping birds, babbling brooks, and whispering winds.

Japan Hanami, meanwhile, leans heavily into the county’s musical traditions with plenty of koto and flute in the arrangements.

The videos are beautiful enough to watch and listen to on their own, but the full experience is, of course, to pair them with pizza. As mentioned above, the At-Home Hanami campaign is offering free pizza for delivery customers, as customers ordering a pizza for delivery can add a second pie for free. Actually, the second pizza could actually end up costing you less than nothing, since the bill for a two-pizza order is calculated by taking the total price of the two and cutting it in half. So if your second pizza is a less expensive kind than your first, you’re essentially getting paid to eat the second one.

▼ The Fun Feeling video has the jazziest soundtrack of the series…

▼ …while Relaxing Feeling is a great way to wind down (or transition into a nap).

The second-pizza-free promotion will be going on for an unspecified time, but with hanami season traditionally running through mid-May, we can probably expect it to last a few weeks (the necessary online coupon delivery order page can be found here). It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to be a Domino’s customer to access the videos. Sure, they’d like you to be munching on their pizza while you watch, but you’re free to eat whatever you like, or even just enjoy a cup of hot green tea, ice-cold beer, or sake at your temperature of preference as you do your at-home hanami.

In Japanese, people express the idea that simple, direct pleasures are the key to happiness with the phrase “Hana yori dango,” which literally translates as “Dumplings are better than flowers.” You could probably say the same thing about pizza, too, and while this year’s sakura season is unlike any in recent memory, it’s a good reminder to cherish the simple things in life, like having a roof over your head and a slice of pizza on your plate, as you enjoy the cherry blossoms from home.

Source: Domino’s Pizza via IT Media
Top image: YouTube/ドミノ・ピザ
Insert images: YouTube/ドミノ・ピザ (1, 2, 3, 4)

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