Soon, very soon, Korea with be bathed in a haze of pretty pink blossoms. But don’t blink, as the cherry blossom season is notoriously short, around ten days maximum. If heavy rain should fall, the delicate blooms won’t even survive that long. So if you’re in Korea, catch them while you can. Linger under the trees for a while and you’ll likely see some 꽃비, flower rain, which makes for a great selca.
Lots of food stalls pop up around cherry blossom time, and the weather should be hitting the double digits, making it perfect for a picnic and some soju in the park pretty much anywhere. That’s how most Koreans celebrate the coming of spring – sharing drinks and snacks under the blooms with friends. There’s also some organised festivals with musicians, art shows and special cherry-blossom themed food and drinks to try. The dates for the blooms vary slightly every year (that’s nature for you…) but most festivals are held around 1-10 April.
Jinhae festival (also known as Gunhangjae 군항제, or Naval Port Festival) is a major trek from Seoul, but it has the largest number of trees, 340,000, that you’ll find in Korea. During the day it’s stunning, and the streams are also decorated with LED lights (sometimes in the shape of umbrellas or bikes) to illuminate the night time blossoms. Plus there’s a firework display! Here’s a great blog about visiting the festival with more info on how to get there. If you just can’t part with the city, Yeouido by the Han riverside is one of the most popular Seoul festivals. Here’s a blog that has more directions and info. And here’s another Korean blogger with some festival alternatives.
Jinhae festival is captured nicely here with a mellow Busker Busker/Roy Kim soundtrack