SOUTH KOREA’S LARGEST CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL: A DAY IN JINHAE

Every year, Jinhae hosts an annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s the largest of it’s kind in South Korea, and this year I was lucky enough to attend. 

Last year in New York City, I was determined to catch the fleeting cherry blossom trees in bloom. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden provides an annual festival, but my life in the big apple was… in a word {or two}… pure chaos, which lead me to miss any and all cherry blossom festivals.

This year I wanted to make up for it.

I attended the festival with Enjoy Korea, an English-run company based here in South Korea. To be completely honest, I was disappointed with the ‘service’ provided to us that afternoon. Our ‘guide’ was there to drop us off and later pick us up in the evening. We weren’t provided with information regarding the festival other than directions to go ‘left or right’ upon arrival. I basically paid for transportation to the festival, which would have been half the cost via public transportation.

Regardless, the day was an overall success.

If you do choose to travel with Enjoy Korea, you will arrive at the festival around noon and depart at 7:45 PM {depending on the city you live in}. This is plenty of time to enjoy the festival, and potentially travel further out of the area to see additional cherry blossoms in bloom.

Upon arrival, a few of my friends and I walked along the main promenade. It stretches for nearly a mile {1.5 km} and runs parallel to the Yeojwacheon Stream. This is where you will find ‘Romance Bridge’ {popular due to a famous K-Drama scene filmed there}, plenty of love-themed props to pose with, and so many couples. Many of them in matching outfits {yes, that’s a thing in Korea}. It’s easily the most favored area of the festival to take photos, therefore you should be prepared for crowds.

So many couples… jokes, jokes. I love them.

 

We could only handle a single stroll down and back along the promenade before heading into a different part of town. We walked towards the ‘cultural’ portion of the festival which included hundreds of food stands and a large stage hosting various Korean performers. Towards the end of the day we enjoyed a ‘rock’-ish artist and his band as they had the crowd jumping on their feet {though still quite timidly}.

At one point in the afternoon, we spotted a tower sitting atop a large hill. One look at the stairs and the four of us groaned. I was still battling a cold, and some of us were still fighting through a two-day hangover. Regardless, we made the executive decision to hike the hill in order to catch the views of Jinhae from above.

The hike wasn’t nearly as intimidating as it looked from below, and we made it to the top in less than 20 minutes. The staircase itself is referred to as “The One Year Stairway”, as there are 365 steps to tackle. It was well worth the climb once we reached the look-out on the 8th floor of the tower — free of charge, lift included {look at me reverting to using silly words like lift… elevator for my friends back home}. Side note, this is how you know you spend too much time with Brits. There is also a cable car to take you up the hill should you choose, but again, the hike isn’t tough and I’m always on a shoe-string budget.

View from the top!
My first time seeing the sea since arriving in Korea! It was so refreshing.
That circular area below with all the tiny humans is where the stage is set up.

Our meals for the day were very un-Korean: corndogs and pizza. But again, a sick girl and her hungover friends. What do you expect?

Altogether, the day was well spent. I was surrounded by the crew and finally got to witness the gorgeous cherry blossoms in full bloom. The Jinhae Cherry Blossom festival is free and takes place around the first week of April, lasting approximately 10 days. For more inspiration and information on the 2018 festival, click here.

Squad goals!

2 Replies to “SOUTH KOREA’S LARGEST CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL: A DAY IN JINHAE”

    1. Thank you so much Sanne! It was my first time at a Cherry Blossom Festival, and it was indeed very pretty. I can recommend if you ever get the chance to visit Korea in spring. Have a good day x

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