2020 Korea Cherry Blossoms Forecast: Where & When to Catch Them?

2020 Korea Cherry Blossoms Forecast: Where & When to Catch Them?

Not too keen on visiting Japan for the umpteenth time to watch the cherry blossoms? Come to Korea for an equally impressive viewing of the landscape covered with the regal efflorescence of white and pink, a perfect Instagrammable vacation!

Image credit: tenshawoodi

The gentle spring breeze ruffles your hair, bringing with it a pink-and-white shower of cherry blossom petals from the trees flanking both sides of the path. It’s the picture perfect scene everyone looks to catch as they brave the cold. Yet, catching the elusive and fleeting bloom begs for conscientious pre-planning — and a sprinkle of luck!

So, before you rush off to book your tickets, it might not be such a bad idea to skim through our special guide for getting the most out of the sakura season in Korea!

Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do

1. Jinhae Gunhangje Festival (Early April)

Image credit: allnosteel

The Jinhae Gunhangje Festival is Korea’s biggest spring festival, pulling in around two million attendees each year. Originally a military memorial festival dedicated to celebrating Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s victory in the Imjin War, today it brings tourists and locals alike under the cherry blossom trees that line the streets. 

Image credit: COMSEVENTHFLT

In addition to the beauty of the blossoming sakura, grab the once-in-a-year chance to visit the grounds of the Korea Naval Academy and Naval Base Headquarters, only open to the public for the 10 day festival. Here, entertain yourselves with the multitude of music and performances provided by the Republic of Korea Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. 

Directions: You can take an interstate bus from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal to Jinhae Intercity Bus Terminal. The festivities are within walking distance of the bus terminal.

Website: https://www.changwon.go.kr/depart/contents.do?mId=1101010000

2. Hwagae Market Cherry Blossom Festival (Late March to Early April)

The cherry trees on both sides of the road form a fuchsia flower tunnel stretching for four kilometres, from the 8th century Ssanggyesa Temple to the Hwagaejangteo market filled with delicious seasonal treats like cherry blossom ice cream and cherry blossom oysters. Come here for a romantic and ethereal experience; the road’s nickname, the “Wedding Road”, references a myth of a happy marital life for couples who walk down the petal-littered road together. Pack comfy sneakers for this stroll!

Directions: Take an intercity bus from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal to Hadong Bus Terminal. Hwagae Market is just a short 100m from the bus terminal.

Seoul 

3. Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (Early to Mid April)

Back for its sixteenth edition since 2005, the Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is a sprawling open area in Seoul, home to the National Assembly, and of course, a street lined with 1,886 Korean cherry blossom trees. Only a short walk from the National Assembly Subway Station, the event is free to all members of the public.

Aside from being surrounded by the beautiful scenery, there are many activities to keep oneself occupied with. Booths offering handicraft workshops, performances, and exhibits are aplenty, with night markets springing up as light falls, so there’s always something for everyone!

Directions: Take buses 162, 262, or 461 from the Yeouido Subway Station to the National Assembly Bus Stop.

Website: http://flower.ydp.go.kr/

Jeju Island

4. Jeju King Cherry Blossom Festival (End March to Early April)

Jeju Island is home to the native Korean King Cherry tree, a rare hybrid found growing around the slopes of Mount Halla. You’ll really need Lady Luck on your side for this endeavour though, as the luscious petals of this endangered species of sakura only hang around for three or so days, so do keep a keen eye out for the cherry blossom forecasts before heading off for the festival. 

Recommended viewing points for the festival include downtown Seogwipo and Jeju Sports Complex, accessible via a direct bus from Cheju Airport to Seogwipo Bus Terminal.

Website: Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival

Gyeongsang

5. Gyeongju Cherry Marathon (Early April)

Something for the fitness-inclined: take the chance to go for a jog while surrounded by rows of sakura in full bloom in the 29th iteration of the Cherry Marathon! You have to be above 18 to register for the full marathon, but the half marathon, 10km and 5km courses are open to all ages.

Held in the ancient capital of Korea, take in the sights of Gyeongju as you run past relics of Korean Buddhist art, sculptures, temples and palaces from the Silla dynasty. After the run, stick around for the festivities\ which include a busking festival, concerts, and various sporting events.  

Directions: A shuttle bus will be running in and out of town in intervals of 15 minutes. Alternatively, taking a taxi to Bomun would cost around â‚©10,000.

Website: http://www.cherrymarathon.com/

Geumsan

6. Silk Town Mountain Cherry Blossom Festival (Mid April)

Bask in the glory of the largest natural colony of cherry blossoms in Bogok Village, covering the hillsides over an area approximately 10,000 m², Pack your cameras (and selfie sticks!) for this sprawl of pink mixed with other blooming wildflowers, like the bunch berry and the ginger plant. You can also expect a calmer atmosphere here, as unlike the earlier blooming regions, you won’t have to jostle with dense crowds. 

#TripZillaTravelTip: Do plan to reach ahead of time for this festival, as it takes multiple transfers via intercity buses.

Nami Island

7. Nami Island Cherry Blossom Festival (Mid April)

Away from the bustle of the major cities, Nami Island offers a cherry blossom experience unique from the other destinations. As the island transforms its landscape of dense greenery to a stunning pink flush, be sure to dress in your favorite #OOTD and grab your cameras for a day trip! 

Popular hotspots for viewing include the Water Stages Swimming Pool right in front of the Cherry Tree Lane, and spice the trip up with some of Nami’s homebrewed craft beers.

Directions: From Gapyeong Ferry Wharf, board the ferry to Nami Island. Do be punctual, as the ferry operates at an interval of 30 minutes from 7.30am to 9.00am and 20 minutes onwards till 6.00pm.

Ready for 2020’s Cherry Blossom Season in Korea?

Well, that wraps up a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Now, you should be ready to start filling in your itinerary for the much anticipated Sakura season!

 

About Author

Hern Tan
Hern Tan

From the sunny streets to the dim red glow of the darkroom, a camera is never far from Hern’s hands. And so, he can be found travelling ever further in pursuit of the perfect scene, the perfect light, the perfect image. Or in bed, all tuckered out.

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