Cherry Blossoms in Korea
Regretfully, there are no 4 seasons in my own little country, however, looking at Facebook posts with those pleasantly blooming cherry blossom flowers popping up on my timeline makes my heart flutter, making me want to fly over to Japan or Korea just to have a glimpse of the pinkish or some are even reddish pink flowers.
Around the end of March also literally marks the start of Spring season which will be accompanied by the blooming of the cherry blossoms, known as beot-kot 벚꽃 in Korean, can be enjoyed in many parts of Korea. Here is a list of a few top festivals or places where one could enjoy the lovely flowers throughout Korea.
1. Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival: Estimated March 27th – 29th
Take a flight to Jeju Island during this period and you might be able to see the grandest cherry blossom festival – the King Cherry Tree blossoms. Seen all over Seogwipo’s downtown and around Jeju Sports Complex, it is said that these cherry trees will fully blossom for only 2 to 3 days, so they are more fleeting than normal. Be quick to catch them!
To get there: From the Jeju International airport, take bus 500 and get off at the New Jeju Rotary stop (신제주로터리). Cross the street, and take bus 20, going in the opposite direction. Get off at Public Health Centre 1 stop.
2. Jinhae Gunhangje Festival: April 1st – 10th
Known as the largest cherry blossom festival in the country, attracting over 2 million visitors annually 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. Follow the crowds if you are lost!
3. Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival: April 3rd – 5th
The “10ri (십리) Cherry Blossom Road’ in Hwagae consists of 200 peach trees and 1,200 cherry blossom trees, which were planted by villagers in 1931. It is 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. Try it and let us know if it’s true!
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.
4. Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival: April 6th – 12th
A string of cherry blossom trees line the 4.3 km path that surrounds gorgeous Gyeongpo Lake. Activities and flower exhibitions centre around Gyeongpodae Pavilion, one of Korea’s regional tangible cultural treasures.
To get there: Take a bus to Gangneung Intercity/Express Bus Terminal, from Dong Seoul Terminal. Once in Gangneung, take Bus 202, and get off at Gyeongpodae.
If just looking at these trees makes you feels bored, or you would like to take a jog under the falling petals, you might want to take part in the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon which will be held on 4th April 2015.
Beginning at Gyeongju Culture Expo Square, the mostly flat course, can be run in 5km, 10km, half or full marathon distances. Check out the map below!
For more information and to register, visit the Cherry Marathon Website.
All these festivals are suitable for people of all ages, local or foreigner. Bring your loved ones, take an evening stroll and imprint these romantic yet beautiful sights into their memories.