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Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival South Korea Travel Guide Featured Image

The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

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If you think that South Korea‘s Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival is just another spring celebration, think again. We mentioned it as part of our things to know before you even travel to South Korea. Simply put, it’s an awesome experience and worth your time. Thousands of cherry blossoms and millions of people come out at the same time for one of the world’s best events. This is one of the best times and seasons in Korea and you have to make it there. Let’s dig into how to get there and our own experiences and thoughts on this wonderful occasion in South Korea!

The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival also appeared in our feature on Spring Things to Do in South Korea. If you’re looking for a place to stay nearby, check here for the best prices on hotels in Changwon before you head to the festival! 

The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

Fun Facts

Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival Cherry Blossoms Image

The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival made that always viral list of South Korea’s 50 Beautiful Places to see. The festival has been around since 1952 when the city unveiled a statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin. Over 300,000 cherry trees bloom to create one of the world’s largest concentrations of cherry blossoms. Yeojwacheon Stream (see below) is well-known for its “Romance Bridge.” K-Drama aficionados will know it for the TV show “Romance.” It’s estimated that millions of people descend upon tiny Jinhae—part of Changwon—for this amazing festival during spring in Korea.

Getting There

Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival South Korea Around the Festival Image

Lots of people go from Seoul to Jinhae and from Nambu Bus Terminal, you can take an intercity bus to Jinhae (진해) and after arriving, walk about 30 meters ahead towards Jungwondong-ro (중원동로) and turn right there. Walk for another 400 meters and stay left at the fork in the road. Walk another 200 meters and you’ll arrive at the festival venue.

Bonus Tip: Traffic is a nightmare getting into the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival so I’d recommend you take the train (book in advance!) in and avoid all the gridlock that happens in this small town that usually doesn’t handle so many cars. The scenery is beautiful from the train and it’s much easier (and faster) than driving/riding on four wheels.

Festival Food

Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival South Korea Food Image

Words can’t describe just how much food surrounds this festival. There’s great Korean food there, but there’s also a ton of western stuff to find and eat. Seemingly everywhere one can find whole pigs roasting over the open flame, Turkish kebab stands, and one particular spot where my friend and I completely double-take upon hearing shouts of  “we’ve got hamburgers, real American beer here!” from an actual American guy and his friends. Each little alley leads to a new discovery and for people who don’t live in Seoul or Busan, it’s something of a western food paradise.

Beautiful Cherry Blossoms

Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival South Korea Yeojwacheon Stream Image

Yeojwacheon Stream can get hectic as the day drags on, but for good reason. The beautiful cherry blossoms are seemingly everywhere around the main festival walkways. Look for the One Year Stairs (365 steps to the top) and walk up to the top. From there, you’ll get a necessary and awesome 360 view of the entire festival. Sometimes the blossoms will peak before or after the festival, but it’s still a beautiful occasion. It’s practically impossible to time these flower festivals without luck and a more flexible schedule but still, this was a worthwhile trip.

Festival Atmosphere

Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival South Korea Blossoms Image

It can be easy to forget just how jolly Koreans become during festival time. Despite the enormous crowds and occasional elbows from old ladies, people are generally happy and friendly to interact with during a festival. Most of these events are usually meant to preserve past ideas and memories and in Jinhae’s case, the Cherry Blossom Festival coincides with parades that recognize the famous Admiral Yi Sun Shin and his victory over Japanese invaders nearly 500 years ago. If you’re there at the right time, you’ll find music booming and people laughing all over the place.

Our Thoughts and Yours, Too!

People just seem to be in good spirits at these events and happiness is contagious. I want more festivals and for them to happen more than once or twice a year. If you’re in the country during spring and want to see a good time away from Seoul, this event is something you should put down on your South Korea travel itinerary. The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival is not just about those beautiful flowers, but man, they’re just too gorgeous to avoid as the main reason to go.

Have you ever traveled to Jinhae for cherry blossoms? If you have been to the festival, what did you think of it? Do you have anything like this where you live? If you’re looking to enjoy the spring season in Korea, let us know what you’d like to do and we’d be happy to help. Either way, we’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below:) 

This Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival travel guide is part of our blog’s series on South Korea TravelEast Asia Travel, and Asia Travel. It was originally created on April 9, 2014. It has been maintained and updated (as of February 8, 2019) to reflect current viewpoints and travel trends.

27 thoughts on “The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

    • Carl Hedinger says:

      Thank you so much, Dana. Christina has quite the eye and has done some great things. Guess I picked a winner, huh? Btw, the DC blossoms are also very nice. We stumbled upon them a few years back and that was a great experience. Hope you can make it there for the next round!

  1. andleeb says:

    Jinhae’s Cherry Blossom Festival… WOW!!! ….. I really enjoyed the way you have told us about your travel experience and I loved all the pictures… It is always so nice being close to nature. It seems a blanket of flowers have wrapped whole city. It’s such a great post. I always like festivals as people are happy and we can enjoy variety of food.
    thank you for sharing.

    • Duke Stewart says:

      Wow! Thank you for the super nice comment. I really appreciate it. Yes, these festivals are always such a treat and though we didn’t make it to Jinhae during peak time, it was lovely. The blossoms’ arrival here is always such a fun time because it seems to brighten everyone’s moods 1000x.

  2. simplysherryl says:

    Beautiful place to be during the festival. I was in DC last April during the cherry blossom festival and in one day..a storm stripped everything! Wow.. was it a disappointment for thousands of travelers heading into town.

    • Duke Stewart says:

      That’s too bad. Something similar happened in our town and when we visited the festival in Jinhae, the blossoms were clearly past peak but it was still worth the trip. I love visiting DC when the cherry blossoms are in. Definitely worth a revisit. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Leah says:

    Awesome photos! I didn’t realize that the Cherry Blossoms have such a short life, though. I skipped the local festival here, thinking I’d still have a few weeks and now they’re gone! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Evan and Rachel says:

    Great post! We also have never been big on tour groups, for the same reasons as you. We like our freedom. I’ve heard good things about Pedro and Lonely Korea, but we’ve had a few bad experiences with another group. I’m not sure if it was the organizers fault or the fault of our peers, though. haha.

    We were going to go on this same Jinhae trip, but something else came up that weekend! I also though it’d be good trip to go with a group because the festival is so popular, and itd be hard to get in and out alone.

    Some great pictures, we hope to make it to Jinhae next year!!

    • Duke Stewart says:

      Thanks for the post and the tweet. I had low expectations for Jinhae because large festivals like that are just too overwhelming. But this was a good experience and although the flowers weren’t perfect, this was a great getaway from our small town.

  5. Steve Miller (@qiranger) says:

    Spring is by far my second favorite season. I’m not usually sold on cherry blossoms, but this year was a little more special. I can’t say why, but it was. Like you, my wife and I don’t really like tours; however, the expat groups in Korea are usually really good at putting together some great programs.

  6. Paul Graham says:

    Duke, great insight into the Cherry Blossom festival and wonderful pictures. I have not gone beyond Seoul and Busan but this trip looks well worthwhile

  7. Beth Niebuhr says:

    What a nice article! I love going to festivals because, as you said, people are happy there and the food tends to be great. I haven’t been to Korea but it sounds interesting. Now and then a tour can be a good idea.

  8. crystalzakrison says:

    This Seems Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I love when people are in good spirits to. It feels good to be around the positive energy.

    All the best, crystal Ross

    • Duke Stewart says:

      Thanks for the comment! Festivals are one of the many reasons I love living here and when they seemingly go away in winter, I get sad. Looking forward to more and more during spring and summer!

  9. Alex | Ninja Teacher says:

    I actually didn’t go to any festivals. I didn’t really know they lasted for such a short tome to be honest.

    I did manage to get a cool video of some all lit up at night which I’m happy about. They make me happy too 🙂

  10. Nathan says:

    I hear you about needing a recharge after the winter months. Even though this winter was pretty mild, it drained me pretty well.

    “We’ve got hamburgers, real American beer here!” would’ve made me do a triple take. I miss quality micro-brews!

  11. thetravelliz says:

    So beautiful! I have great memories of my time during last year’s cherry blossoms festival in Jinhae… and it seems that you have too.

    Happy travels in Korea!

  12. Elicia Shepard says:

    Nice post! I love the Korean cheer and festival spirit as well. Great post! We were in Gyeongju for their Cherry Blossom Festival this year. Maybe we will have to check out Jinhae next year. We have heard lots of great things about Pedro’s trips as well. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the information and lovely photos too!

    • Duke Stewart says:

      Thanks for the comment. It was really convenient for us considering getting in out of Jinhae by car is a nightmare. We had a pretty rogue bus driver who helped cut our time down, thankfully. Otherwise, we might still be in Jinhae:)

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