Korea’s biggest cherry blossom festival in Jinhae. What to expect?
Jinhae has long been the home of the biggest cherry blossom festival in Korea so of course, I had to visit.
It’s the most photographed city in the country each cherry blossom season and it’s clear why it’s so popular. For many years people have travelled to this small town on Korea’s south coast to enjoy the springtime flowers on the trees native to Japan.
After having visited 3 other cities in the country to enjoy the cherry blossom trees, I had to come to Jinhae to see what they do differently. It is the biggest event of its kind in Korea after all.
Want to see more festivals in Korea? The Rose Festival and the Lotus Lantern Festival are both in Spring!
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|Country:||South Korea (Republic of Korea)|
|Currency:||South Korean Won / KRW|
|Do you need a visa to visit as tourists?||Check here|
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How to get to the jinhae cherry blossom festival
Jinhae is located in the south of Korea and is home to a huge naval port. Surprisingly, this town is not very well connected via public transport.
If travelling from Busan, it’s a little over 1 hour to reach Jinhae by car. However, if you plan on using trains and buses, you’re looking at multiple transfers and 2-2.5 hours of travel.
If travelling from Seoul, you can make the 5-and-a-half-hour car journey or fly into Busan and drive from there.
If you need a vehicle, you can rent one through Rental Cars. I have used them myself a few times in Korea.
Join a tour
If you don’t feel comfortable travelling to the Jinhae cherry blossom festival independently you have the option to join a tour. These tours typically take you from a central location in Seoul or Busan to multiple stops within the festival before taking you back to the city.
**As these tours are only available for the 1-2 weeks per year that the festival is on, you will need to check back for when the next year’s dates are available**
If you’re open to other cherry blossom tours outside of the Jinhae festival then check out these two:
Where to see cherry blossom trees at the Jinhae festival
Location: 경화역 경화동 Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경남 창원시 진해구 경화동)
This abandoned train station is the main location for the Jinhae cherry blossom festival each year. As the name suggests, it’s an old disused railway home to an old, blue train converted into a mini museum.
Both sides of the railway track have been lined with cherry blossoms, adding a huge pop of colour to the area once a year. The entire length of track inside this station park gets filled with excited visitors as soon as the blossoms appear and you’ll see exactly how busy it gets.
Unless you arrive at the crack of dawn, getting photos with no one else in them is nearly impossible. The great news though is prime photo-taking spots such as on the front of the stationary train, require you to wait in line for your turn. That way everyone has a fair chance to get their photo for the ‘gram.
Photo tip: If you head to the opposite end of the track to the train, the trees are closer together and create a tunnel effect for a great photo.
Yeojwacheon stream & Love Bridge
Location: Yeomyeong-ro, Jinhae-gu, 창원시 Gyeongsangnam-do ( 경남 창원시 진해구 )
The famous Yeojwacheon stream is another top spot to see the cherry blossoms during the Jinhae yearly festival. It’s a long shallow stream with boardwalks on either side and a tunnel of pale pink trees that line the entire waterway.
This is the second most visited spot for cherry blossoms in the small city after Gyeongwha station. As expected, it will be busy during the festival when you visit so expect the walk along the river to take quite some time as you slowly work your way through the crowds of other visitors.
If travelling from south to north, you’ll find many small boutique stores, cafes and market stalls along the right side of the river. This means you can stay comfortable and refreshed while travelling from one end to the other.
Want the best photo opportunities? Head onto one of the many bridges across the stream and take a picture with the stream directly behind or in front of you rather than from the boardwalk.
Cherry Blossom pop-up market
Location: Gyeongam Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si Tongsin-dong 9 ( 경남 창원시 진해구 )
Located in the centre of the town is a pop-up market for the duration of the cherry blossom festival in Jinhae. This market is on the street that connects Jehwangsan Park to the Jungwon Rotary in the heart of the town. This market has everything you would expect to find in a spring festival. There are cherry blossom clothing accessories, postcards, crafts, food items and more.
What’s great about the location of this market is that it is within walking distance of most of the other destinations that have cherry blossoms around the city. It is the true heart of the festival each year and gives you a chance to purchase one-of-a-kind items and contribute to this community.
Pro tip: Most of the ventors accept cash and card, although 3 of the ones I tried to use didn’t take card so I’d advise bringing cash if you can.
Jinhae NFRDI Environment Eco-Park
Location: 55 Yeomyeong-ro 25beon-gil, Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do ( 경남 창원시 진해구 여명로25번길 55 )
So the park is not necessarily a part of the Jinhae festival, but it does have a large number of cherry blossom trees for you to enjoy. If you’re near the north of the Yeojwacheon stream, it’s just a short walk to the entrance of this Eco-park.
Inside you’ll find a large lake where you’ll find some clusters of cherry blossoms around the lake’s edge. You’ll find a few walking paths that take you completely around the lake and through the various tree tunnels that have formed over the years. This area is also much less busy than the previous stops in the cherry blossom festival so you can enjoy having personal space a lot more.
This is definitely one of the more peaceful stops on our list.
Rainbow owl stairs
Location: Jehwangsan Park Entrance ( 경남 창원시 진해구 )
There are two different “owl staircases” and it’s hard to know which one I’m referring to without a picture. The other staircase is not colourful like this one. This (better) rainbow staircase takes you into Jehwangsan Park and as you can see behind me, it showcases bright colours and a mural of an owl. Because it is a more quiet entrance into the park, this is actually a very quiet area so you’re not likely to see many people.
As you walk up the staircase you’ll see many cherry blossoms showing you the way to the top and it makes for a perfect photo opportunity! The staircase has multiple murals as you continue up the path and you’ll appreciate how beautiful the designs are.
Once you reach the top you’ll be in the park and you’ll find a few cherry blossoms dotted around, although you won’t see many large clusters here.
Main streets from Jungwon Rotary
Location: Jungwon Rotary ( 경남 창원시 진해구 )
The Rotary is practically the heart of the city with many streets connecting here. When you stand in the centre of the rotary green here in Jinhae you’ll see that most of the streets leading away from this roundabout are lined with – you guessed it – cherry blossom trees with festival signs. Almost any direction you look from here you’ll see the pink trees making every street look a little bit prettier.
On one of the streets, only a few feet from here is the pop-up market and Jehwangsan Park is only a 5-minute walk from here too. Even the stream is only about 10-15 minutes on foot from here so this is a great mid-way point if trying to hit all of the cherry blossom spots around the city.
Plus, during the festival, there is usually a small stage with music and sporadic performances throughout the week on the green itself for visitors to enjoy.
Want some more cherry blossom inspiration? Check out these other posts: