Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Ohanami Board Game. This is a Japanese cherry blossom card drafting game for 2 – 4 players that is as beautiful as it is satisfying in its simplistic elegance. You go back and forth taking options that trigger different stats within the variable round to round scoring. It is kind of like classic tri-towers solitaire meets Sushi Go Party with nonstop cherry blossom imagery. Sometimes making the simplest games work is the hardest task, and they certainly achieved a level of that excellence here. The rules for how to play Ohanami are so easy that they fit on a small sheet.

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Each player creates up to 3 different gardens by allocating the different motifs on the cards to different gardens. Each garden consists of a column of cards that only be extended at the ends. Each motif has a value. The motifs in each garden must always be arranged in numerical order. You can skip as many numbers as you like and spread the motifs over the columns of cards however you like.

The game has 3 rounds and the gardens are valued after every round. At the end of the game, the player’s gardens bloom magnificently with Japanese cherry blossom, which is rewarded with even more points.


Time Needed: Approximately 20 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play Ohanami the beautiful card drafting and set collection board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Deal Each Player 10 Cards
Shuffle up all the cards and deal out 10 to each player. The remaining cards will be used in future rounds. This is the first and only setup step in the how to play Ohanami guide.

2. GAMEPLAY | Round Structure
Like most typical draft and pass games, Ohanami takes place over several rounds where a round has all players simultaneously taking card(s) from a stack, passing the remainders on to their neighbor and repeating until the stacks are gone. Here there are 3 rounds, 10 cards in each round, and at the completion of each, there is a scoring session. Players are taking two cards per turn.

3. GAMEPLAY | Step 1 | Taking Cards
Each player should have a stack of cards, all of which have the same quantity in them. Everyone takes any two cards from their stack and places them face down in front of them. They then get the remaining cards ready to pass to their neighbor. The first and third rounds have everyone passing clockwise, while the second has people passing counter-clockwise.

4. GAMEPLAY | Step 2 | Placing Cards
After everyone has made their selection, cards are flipped up so all can see the choices. These now need to be placed within one of your three garden columns in your personal area for max score at the end of each round. All the Ohanami cards have a number 1 – 120 on them, each number being on only one of the cards. The only rule to you 3x columns is that they need to go in ascending order. You do not have to hit every number, but you want to try because once you place a 30, for example, you can never place a 14 or 23 on top of it. There are also suits, but that corresponds to scoring. These columns are for the whole game, not just the round. This placement is optional, use both, one or neither.

5. GAMEPLAY | End of Round Scoring
After each round (all cards have been depleted) there is scoring depending on which round it is. After round 1, only the blue motifs score, after round 2, blue and green motifs score and after the final round all colors score. See the Scoring chart below in the how to play Ohanami Key information section.

6. GAMEPLAY | Deal Cards and Repeat
Each round starts with dealing out 10 new cards to each player and completing the process again until all the cards are gone. 10 cards, over 3 rounds, means you should end having taken a total of 30 cards. As you can see, the ascending order needed in three stacks with numbers 1 – 120 is going to be a challenge.

7. WINNING | High Score Wins
Use the included scorepad or whatever you like to tally up your total points. The highest total wins. The rules for how to play Ohanami are very easy, it’s managing that risk-reward that gets tricky.



After each of the 3 rounds, a different scoring mechanism triggers. See the chart below. Use the included scorepad for easy scoring.

How To Play Ohanami Board Game Scoring
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  • 1x Scorepad
  • 34x Blue Motif Cards
  • 35x Green Motif Cards
  • 17x Silver Motif Cards
  • 34x Pink Motif Cards


We hope you can now say that you know how to play Ohanami. This elegant game draped in cherry blossoms, one of the most wondrous things in flora, is simple to play but a great amount of strategy in how risky you want to make things. There are many similar draft games out there, but none quite like this mix of the genre and a classic solitare like game. An easy one to throw on the table and something players at all levels can enjoy. The rules for how to play Ohanami are very easy so we hope you are inspired to get out there and play!