For an all-too-brief two-week period, cherry blossoms burst into full bloom to mark the beginning of spring throughout East Asia. In Korea, you can enjoy cherry blossom season just about anywhere, but definitely the most famous and no-holds-barred place to celebrate is the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival. Jinhae is a port city located about an hour’s drive from Busan; its relatively mild weather promises slightly earlier arrival of cherry blossoms than elsewhere in Korea. Every spring, usually at the beginning of April, the city plays host to a ten-day festival which commemorates not only its famous cherry blossom trees, but also Korea’s greatest naval commander, Admiral Yi Sun Sin.
A million visitors travel to Jinhae each year to attend the festival. Why should you be one of them?
1. Because as soon as your train arrives, you’re in for a scene right out of a K-drama.
Even if you arrive by bus, you’re going to have to make it out to Gyeonghwa Station. The trains traveling along the tree-lined tracks cause cherry blossom petals to flutter in the wind, resulting in a picturesque view that’s perfect for love stories. Perhaps a handsome or beautiful stranger stepping off the train? Or a sad goodbye to a star-crossed lover?
2. Because some genius decorated the stream with totally random (but awesome) visuals.
A profusion of brightly colored umbrellas, hearts, and bicycles adorns the famous Yeojwacheon Stream. There’s more than enough fuchsia here to satisfy anyone who thinks that cherry blossoms by themselves are just not quite pink enough.
We privately suspect that the designer who came up with this was four years old. But that’s all right, because it totally works.
3. Better yet, it all lights up night.
This being Korea, things only get better once the sun goes down. The neon lights of the decorations lend a colorful cast to the blossoms, making for a very photogenic, almost psychedelic, experience.
4. Because this is your best excuse ever to wear pink.
It doesn’t even have to be on a Wednesday.
BRB need to go change into all pink everything.
5. Because you can eat cherry blossom bread.
This small cake, available at many street stalls, is the must-eat food of the festival. It contains a pink filling that contains cherry blossom extract, although the sweet flavoring probably comes from red bean paste. So don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like you’re eating actual cherry blossoms. That would be weird and probably not taste good.
6. Because… romance.
Having a significant other is hardly a prerequisite to attend the cherry blossom festival. But if you do happen to have one, who better to accompany you to view all the gently falling petals… and share cotton candy with… and help push you through hordes of tourists?
Okay, it’s definitely not a private destination. But at least you’ll have a lot of terrific photo ops.
7. Because all the fallen petals on the ground make for a great shoe shot.
Even better if you can fit two awesome pairs into the frame.
“Honey, which shoes should we wear to Jinhae?”
“The ones that look like they have cherry blossoms on them, obviously. You had to ask?”
This couple is the best couple.
8. Because cherry blossoms make the best hair accessories.
Whether you’ve got black hair, brown, or any other color, a crown of cherry blossoms will always be flattering.
Scratch that, you don’t even need to have hair. This adorable baby is making it work.
9. Because there’s all this other cherry-blossom inspired food that you didn’t know existed but now you have to eat it.
The mere sight of cherry blossoms can stir many emotions in people. Now one of those emotions is hunger.
10. Because there’s all this fun stuff to do.
Like get your caricature done.
Or spell your name with petals.
Or watch this weird water-droplet confection jiggle before eating it… seriously, what is this?
11. Because you need to be here:
Okay, now we’re just going to post lots of photos.
If you can’t attend this year (and actually, you can’t, since today was the last day), fear not – there’s always 2016!
This year, melkimx will not be enjoying the cherry blossom season in Jinhae T_T
Cover photo: jjo_nara