Spend a Day in Jinhae, in Korea’s Largest Cherry Blossoms Festival

When you see pale freckle, pink petals fall on the ground, it means that spring is here; cherry blossom is the symbolic flower of spring, representing a time of renewal, and the fleeting nature of life. Its life is very short; their beauty peaks for around two weeks, and then the blossoms start to fall. It is also quite hard to predict when they are in full bloom. However, when you are in Korea, one of the must-see wonders during Spring time is cherry blossom. Lucky enough, there is Jinhae, home to the biggest cherry blossom festival of South Korea, the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival (진해군항제). This year, the festival was held from April 1st to the 10th.

Getting to Jinhae (진해) is about a four-hour bus ride south of Seoul (서울). You can choose to go on your own, or if you want to skip the trouble of arranging for your own transportation, you can buy a day-trip bus ticket to the festival. There are several websites that sell these tickets, but the one I went with is called Trazy. The round-trip cost 60,000 Won per person. We left at 6:10am, where the bus picked us up at Dongdaemum History&Culture Park Station (동대문역사문화공원역), Exit 10. The bus makes three stops at different subway stations, so you can choose which one is closest for you. We arrived in Jinhae at around noon, and stayed there for around four hours. Then, we arrived back to Seoul at around 10:30pm. Nine hours on the bus might seem a little scary, but it’s totally worth it! For a one day trip, you get to see a pink wonderland, where around 350,000 cherry trees burst into an ocean of pink blossoms, dancing in the air as the wind blows. This is probably one of the places with the biggest concentration of cherry blossoms in the world.

Map of Seoul to Jinhae, Overview (Source: Google Maps)

After you cross this tunnel, you will find yourself in front of the pretty cherry blossoms

Map of Jinhae (Source: Google Maps)

Once we’ve arrived to Jinhae, our first stop was at the Yeojwacheon Stream (Cherry Blossom Road) (여좌천-벚꽃명소). This is one of the most famous places to see cherry blossoms, and take some breathtaking pictures. The trees form a tunnel around the stream. In the center, there is a long bridge, known as the Romance bridge. For those of you who don’t know, this bridge is the location where the two leading characters from the popular TV series Romance (로맨스) first met on their trip to Jinhae. After this episode was aired, this bridge became instantly famous, as is nowadays more widely known as the Romance Bridge.

Yeojwacheon Stream and Romance Bridge

 

The second stop was at the Gyewonghwa Station (경화역). Even though this is a railway that is currently out of service since Febraury 2015, it has been listed by CNN as one of the top 50 most beautiful places to visit in Korea. The cherry blossoms surrounding this railway appear to be bigger and older than the ones at the Yeojwacheon Stream. It’s a little bit of a different feeling, but both are as beautiful.

On the railroad of Gyewonghwa Station

Gyewonghwa Station

Picturesque spot, but you must be patient with the line up!

The Jinhae Gunhangje Festival (진해군항제) started in 1952 as a commemoration to the Admiral Yi Sun Shin (이순신), a Korean naval commander who saved his country from the Japanese invasion. During this 10-day festival, there are various cultural performances going on, and food market taking place. Throughout the years, this has become a nationwide famous Spring festival with its beautiful scenery.

 

Animal-shaped cotton candy

The sides of the streets are filled with houses like this

Aside from the food, you can also find many handmade shops

A lot of people would wear these Cherry blossoms flower crown

A cute little souvenir shop for those of you who like keepsakes

More handmade products

You will find lots of food stands. Some things you can expect to find include corn dogs, tornado potatoes, egg breads, and the very famous cherry blossom flavored drinks

Don’t you wish you could see this view every day? You will fall in love with the scenery just by walking casually on the streets of this town

Sources:

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_2_1.jsp?cid=700520

https://www.trazy.com/experience/detail/jinhae-cherry-blossom-festival-gunhangje-day-tour?utm_source=promotion&utm_medium=webpage&utm_campaign=jinhaefromseoul-campaign#tab:destination

 

Article by Ruby from Canada

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