BY MELISSA TAIT
Spring has sprung! Or at least it is springing. There are many good thing about spring in general but spring in Korea means finally drinking outside the Family Mart again, Baseball season, Soccer season and of course, beautiful cherry blossoms.
As one of my students told me last year, they’re not actually cherry blossoms, they’re just blossoms, but they sure are pretty. I must have taken about 3 gigabytes of photos and videos last spring of the flowers, walking through the flowers and my friends posing with the flowers.
One of the best photo opportunities is the Jinhae at the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival from April 1st to 10th. It’s an opportunity to get out of town for the weekend and wander around the small town which is bursting with white petals and food stands. From the bus station you can walk about 10 minutes to downtown Jinhae, where there is a market set up along the main street. Then you can climb to the observatory tower and see the panorama of Jinhae, follow the crowd to a beautiful bridge lined with Cherry Blossoms and then grab some delicious roast pork with your buddies. If you can stay until the sun sets, the flowers are illuminated with lights and it creates a very romantic atmosphere.
For those wanting to go further afield, Gyeongju also has some impressive cherry blossoms. I can’t find information in English on a specific festival, but there is a Cherry Blossom Marathon on April 7th. The running trail looks very beautiful and it’s a very scenic place in general, so this would also be a nice time to visit.
Yay for spring!
Travel information for Jinhae:
From central Busan, travel by subway to Sasang on the green line. Take exit 3 and head to Seoubu Bus Terminal. At the terminal you can buy a ticket to Jinhae for about W3,000 and hop on the next bus. It takes about half an hour to get there. You can’t buy a return ticket, just buy a ticket back at Jinhae. (NOTE: You will be waiting in long lines at the bus terminal… go early!)
English information: http://english.visitkorea.or.
Korean website: http://gunhang.changwon.go.kr/
Travel in formation for Gyeongju:
To get to Gyeongju you can take a bus from Seoubu Bus Terminal (Sasang subway station) Busan Central Bus Terminal (a little joke, it’s located near Nopo subway station, at the northern end of line number 1) or the Mugungwha trains from Haeundae, Bujeon, Gupo, Busan Station and Hwamyeong (http://www.korail.com/ –> English —> Booking —> Book online to look up the train times)
Information for Cherry Marathon: http://www.cherrymarathon.com/
View Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival in a larger map