Spring comes to the inside of SoraNews24 headquarters thanks to cheap Internet shopping.

Sakura season hasn’t been shaping up like we’d hoped for so far this year. With a warmer-than-normal February, meteorologists and botanists were predicting an earlier-than-usual opening of the cherry blossoms, only for a sudden cold snap in late March to throw that all out of whack.

The sakura are now finally in bloom in Tokyo, and are now expected to reach full bloom on April 4…which, being a Thursday, means that we’re going to be stuck at work. But hey, we can still send the weekend picnicking in the park surrounded by pink petals, right? Actually, that’s looking dicey too, with gray, cloudy weather and at least a 40-percent chance of rain every day until two Fridays from now, at which time many of the petals will have fallen from the sakura trees.

Faced with this string of bad sakura luck, our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma decided to take fate into his own hands. If you’ve been reading our site for a while now, you probably know Masanuki from his adventures in low-priced online shopping, and he put the skills he’s gained through those projects to use figuring out how to enjoy sakura even if he has to be at the office.

There are four things you need for a hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party: cherry blossoms, a place to sit, snacks, and drinks. With a convenience store right across the street from SoraNews24 HQ in downtown Tokyo, getting the snacks and drinks was a snap. For the other necessary components, Masanuki turned to e-commerce site Temu.

First, he found a cloth tapestry/wall scroll of cherry blossom trees. Specifically, it’s a namikidori, or tree-lined path, scene. Masanuki mad sure to pick a jumbo-sized tapestry, with this one measuring 230 centimeters (90.6 inches) across and 150 centimeters top-to-bottom, for 1,364 yen (US$9.15).

For a place to sit, he picked out this 364-yen picnic mat. Since he was going to be sneaking in some hanami while in the office, he didn’t want to take up too much floor space, but he selected one that would at least allow him to stretch his legs out a bit.

And last, he splurged a bit on something to set his snacks and drinks on. The 1,308-yen item is officially called a “portable wooden dining table,” but it’s really more the size of a compact platter.

With everything assembled, the first step was to put up the tapestry, which instantly brightened the atmosphere in the room.

Next, he unfolded the picnic map, inserted the table’s legs, and arranged his canned chu-hi cocktails and senbei (rice crackers).

Hey, not bad at all! With the tapestry hanging over the window, the fabric caught the light from outside and the glimmering effect almost made it look like the cherry blossom tress’ branches were blowing in the wind.

OK, it was time for Masanuki to get his one-person cherry blossom party starte-

Ah! It seems like he wasn’t the only person who’d rather be on a picnic than in the office during sakura season, as two other members of our team, seeing that cherry blossom trees had suddenly appeared inside the workspace, as had food and booze, swiftly grabbed spots on the mat.

But hey, the more the merrier, right? While he could no longer stretch his legs out from one end of the mat to the other, Masanuki now had company for his party, so they all cracked open a drink, said “Cheers!”, and got the festivities started.

Sitting so close to the tapestry, as long as Masanuki faced it, the sakura trees filled his entire field of view, making for a pretty convincing illusion.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed and the weather clears up before sakura season ends, but if it doesn’t Masanuki’s in-office sakura space might be getting a lot more use over the next few days.

Related: Temu sakura tapestry, mat, table
Photos ©SoraNews24
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