Attending a cherry blossom festival overseas is not as easy as it looks because the festival dates are different every year and only released less than a month before the actual festival. On top of that, cherry blossom festivals only last for about 2 – 7 days! The right timing is absolutely crucial but you’re at the full mercy of mother nature here.
So you can wait till the exact dates are confirmed before purchasing last minute tickets – but mind you, the flight tickets will be jacked up because this is the peak season and because its last minute. To get a better deal, it is recommended to book your flight tickets months in advance.
Cherry blossoms in Korea
Korea has always been overshadowed by Japan when it comes to cherry blossom festivals. However, in the recent years, Korea has become a popular alternative to Japan for viewing the cherry blossoms. Why? No prizes for guessing that k-pop, Korean dramas, running man, beauty products (which have overtaken Japan imo) and even plastic surgery have been large contributing factors to this. There is much to do in Korea!
What is the Jinhae Gunhangje cherry blossom festival?
It’s the BIGGEST cherry blossom festival in Korea and is held at the navel port city, Jinhae, which is at the southern most tip of the Korean peninsula.
Its truly an experience to be in this beautiful cherry blossom filled city, Jinhae, basking in the festive atmosphere with both locals and tourists alike.
Where to view the cherry blossoms in Jinhae
The cherry blossoms are literally everywhere in this city but there are also 2 really popular and beautiful spots to view the cherry blossoms in Jinhae:
1) Yeojwacheon Stream / Romance bridge
2) Gyeonghwa Station (aka cherry blossom road)
Here’s what it’s like to visit the Jinhae Gunhangje cherry blossom festival and how you can get there from Busan.
Getting to Jinhae from Busan
1. Take the subway to Sasang station
2. 1hr Bus to Jinhae
3. Walk / bus / cab to cherry blossom locations
At Sasang bus terminal just outside the Sasang station
The platform number is stated on the ticket
Price: 5,100krw for a one way trip to Jinhae
We purchased the tickets on the day itself.
Here are the bus times to Jinhae. Frequency: every 15-20mins
Alighting the bus at Jinhae
Bus terminal at jinhae
We purchased our return ticket here before proceeding to the cherry blossom locations because we heard that it could get sold out :S
It was a pleasant scenic walk to the romance bridge with cherry blossoms lining the roads.
Cherry blossoms all around Jinhae!
The romance bridge!
The canal is super super long (1.5km) and at every section there are different exhibits. We didn’t complete the whole 1.5km stretch in case you were wondering. Most of the popular exhibits are at the beginning.
There are loads of street vendors along the whole 1.5km stretch, like seriously LOADS, it’s impossible to go hungry here.
Getting to Gyeonghwa station:
We took a cab here from the romance bridge because we couldn’t find the bus stop and also because the price of taking a cab was pretty much the same price as the bus fare for 2 pax. Short cab rides are really affordable in Korea because the meter stays at the flag-down fare (approx 3000krw) for a very long time without jumping. We spammed lots of short cab rides.
Perfect for those instaworthy shots
It’s packed with both locals and tourists. There are some Street vendors here but not as much as yeojwacheon. Yeojwacheon is the best place to get a good feed.
Check the cherry blossom forecast or past dates here. the forecast isn’t usually out early, so a good gauge will be the past dates.
I bought my tickets to Korea in January based on the 2015 forecast but turns out that the cherry blossoms in 2016 bloomed earlier than expected and I was too late to catch them in Yeouido, Seoul, but I managed to catch the last bits of them in Jinhae and at Seoul tower. (Fyi, I was in Jinhae on 9 April)
Also, don’t leave out visiting neighboring Busan! Check out the 5 MUST DO things in Busan below in the related posts.