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Where to get your Cherry Blossom On in Korea

*If you’re looking for updated 2015 information about Korea’s cherry blossom festivals, please see THIS POST for 2015 dates.

Every spring, an eagerly anticipated silvery pink wave of luminescent gorgeousness sweeps it’s way up the Korean Peninsula.

Yup, you guessed it. The blooming of the cherry blossoms.

It’s an occasion that almost everyone in the country looks forward to. And while no one can pinpoint exactly what makes this annual blushing of the trees such a special event, I’d guess that it has something to do with it’s temporal nature.

Could there be anything more poetic than the falling of an infinite number of frail pink petals, as they drift peacefully to their deaths, just a few days or weeks after flowering?

By Kim Daram, CC Attribution

By Kim Daram, CC Attribution

This year, due to an unseasonably mild winter, and an early spring, cherry blossom season is arriving sooner than expected. That means that festival dates are earlier than normal.

So, where in Korea can you see this ephemeral event? Here’s a list of the major cherry blossom festivals taking place across the peninsula.

April 1 – 10: Jinhae Gunhangje Festival
This is the largest cherry blossom festival in the country, drawing over 2 million tourists every year, with it’s stunning tunnel of cherry trees. There’s also a military band parade, a multi-media fireworks show, and a commemoration of Admiral Yi-Sun-Shin.

To get there: Take an intercity bus to Jinhae (진해). You can walk to the festival venue from the bus terminal. Just follow the crowds!

April 4 – 6: Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival
Board a flight down to Jeju Island and you might be able to see the grandest petals of them all: the King Cherry Tree blossoms. These cherry trees fully blossom for only 2 to 3 days, so they are more fleeting than normal. Best be quick to catch them!

To get details about the festival, check out this link.

April 4 – 6: Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival
This man-made lake with walking paths is divided into 2 basins, both of which are bordered by cherry blossom trees.

While you’re there, why not stop by one of our favourite places in Seoul: The Hosoo Bakery and Cafe. You can sip a latte while you watch the petals gloriously falling to the ground.

This is the cherry blossom festival we’ll be attending, hopefully on all 3 days. Pictures to follow. 🙂

To get there: Head to Jamsil Station on Line 2, and take Exit 3.

April 5 – 6: Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival
The “10ri Cherry Blossom Road’ in Hwagae consists of 200 peach trees and 1,200 cherry blossom trees, which were planted by villagers in 1931. It’s believed that if you walk down this 4km cherry blossom lined road, with your partner, while holding hands, you’ll fall madly and deeply in love with each other.

At the festival, aside from seeing the cherry blossoms, you can visit the historic Hwagae Market, and dine on traditional foods like Euneo-hoe (sliced raw sweetish) and Chamgetang (king crab broth).

To get there: Take an intercity bus from Seoul’s Nambu Bus Terminal, to Hadong (하동). Buses run at: 06:30, 08:00, 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 19:30 and 22:00.

April 12-20: Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

This is perhaps the best, albeit most crowded place, in Seoul to see not just the cherry blossoms, but also azaleas, forsythia, and other spring flowers in full bloom. With 1,400 to 1,600 cherry blossom trees, you’re guaranteed a stunning and dramatic sight.

To get there: The closest subway station is the National Assembly Station on Line 9. Take Exit 1 or 6 and walk for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can get off at Yeouinaru Station on Line 5, take Exit 1 and walk for 20 minutes.

Of course, if you want to avoid the crowds, you don’t have to attend any of these festivals. The trees will be blooming in force all over the country. Just make sure you get out for a stroll around the city before they disappear!

Have you seen the cherry blossoms? Where did you see them? What do you think makes them so attractive to us?

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14 Comments Post a comment
  1. exciting pictures

    March 20, 2014
    • Thank you Bijit! It’s almost impossible to take a bad one when cherry blossoms are around. 🙂

      March 23, 2014
  2. beautiful! can’t wait to see the pictures of the festival. love the description in the first few paragraphs, btw. “silvery pink wave of luminescent gorgeousness” – ahhh.

    March 20, 2014
    • Aww, thanks. You’re too sweet! 🙂 I’m anxiously awaiting the festival…can’t wait to go!!!

      March 23, 2014
  3. The bounty there makes it much more er.. dreamy and magical. 😉 There were cherry blossoms here in California as well but not as together. Loving the pictures!!!

    March 22, 2014
  4. Hi! This year, I saw cherry blossoms in Gyeongju: Bomun Lake, Heungmaro, Anapji Pond, Wolseong Fortress, Bulguksa, and a small temple in my neighborhood. They’re everywhere.

    April 8, 2014
    • Wow! You saw them in so many places. In Seoul, it almost seemed like they appeared and disappeared in the blink of an eye. The Yeouido Spring Flower Festival isn’t scheduled to start until April 12th, but I’m pretty sure there won’t be too many blossoms left by then…

      April 9, 2014
  5. I loved watching the leaves change colour here in the fall- now I’m excited to come across this timely post so I can be prepared for my first opportunity to see cherry blossoms! Thank you! ^_^

    March 8, 2015
    • Hey Holly! Yes, the cherry blossoms are so lovely! Whereabouts are you planning on seeing them? (btw, I’ve just published an updated post with dates for 2015) 🙂

      March 9, 2015
      • I see the updated post- that’s awesome, thank you! I’d love to do a 5k in Gyeongju but it’s just not logistically possible. I might try to go to Jinhae or Hwagae, or definitely Seokchon Lake if I can’t get anywhere further away!

        March 9, 2015
        • I’d love to do that cherry blossom race too, but alas I just discovered it while writing this article. Maybe next year. 🙂

          March 10, 2015
  6. Impressive images – the spring there must be super beautiful!

    June 8, 2015
    • First we get the cherry blossoms which turn the whole city into a fairyland, and then we get colourful spring flowers all over the country! It’s a really lovely time of year for sure. 😀

      June 14, 2015

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