Bucket List

Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

I always see this dramatic train under the Cherry Blossom trees whenever I search for spring locations in South Korea. I recently found out that this is South Korea’s biggest spring festival attracting 2 million visitors each year. This image is simply breathtaking and awe-inspiring, a scene and a season that is missing in my tropical country. Fortunately, the week-long Easter holidays in my Christian country allows me to travel abroad and experience spring.

Facts I’ve learned from reading various sources has just given me enough knowledge about this event. The Jinhae Gunhangjae, Cherry Blossom festival, offers different events, activities, and cultural and art performances. A few of the remarkable locations that are just 30-mins walk away from each other are the spectacular Yeojwacheon Stream and the cherry blossom-themed Gyeonghwa Station (photo above), that is only operational during the festival period. It is said that a train will pass through the cherry blossom lane at a slow speed, creating a magnificent scene. This festival is celebrated in Jinhae, which is located in the southwestern part of South Korea. Jinhae is a small town in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, which is only an hour away from Busan and 4 hours away from Seoul by bus, which has both several bus services a day.

Planning for this festival is quite tricky as cherry blossom forecast dates are usually released only around early March. When preparing for a trip, this few weeks gap time between forecast and bloom is quite challenging for someone who has a full-time job to consider. I’ve been monitoring the cherry blossom forecast in Seoul since 2015 to get a glimpse of the right timing of the year to visit. Sometimes, the Easter holiday schedule does not coincide with the bloom forecast because Easter is way too early.

Last April 2019, cherry blossoms in Seoul blooms earlier than usual. The Easter holiday happens to be on the same date, so I was lucky enough to see its peak bloom and pink snow-like petals falling from the trees. However, cherry blossom in Jinhae usually starts blooming more or less 10 days earlier than Seoul. Then it usually takes a week to reach their peak after the first bloom. The cherry blossom’s peak typically lasts only for 14 days. If my calculations are right, 2021’s Easter schedule will coincide just right in time with Jinhae’s peak bloom. I just felt like this is more difficult than predicting my future. Nevertheless, this will always be a priority every springtime until I can scratch it off my bucket list.

Featured image owned by Rufus Azarya.  Thank you for allowing me to share your image Rufus.

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