Korea, spring, me, cherry blossom

Complete Guide To The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Spring has finally arrived, and the transformation of South Korea is in full swing! The country is awash in an ocean of white cherry blossoms, with Jinhae on the southern tip of the Peninsula being the most spectacular place to see them. Each year, the town celebrates the beautiful trees with the famous Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival.

Here’s the complete guide to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

Facts About Jinhae

Jinhae has a rich history when it comes to the cherry blossom festival. The festival has been held annually since April 13, 1952, making it one of the oldest cherry blossom festivals in Korea.

Over the years, it has grown to become the largest cherry blossom festival in South Korea, attracting around 2 million visitors each year. The festival is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the beauty of the cherry blossoms in all their glory. The city of Jinhae transforms into a breathtaking sea of pink and white, with the cherry blossoms forming a beautiful canopy over the entire city.

2023 Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival 2023 takes place from March 25 until April 3. It is said to be the largest cherry blossom festival in Korea.

The cherry blossoms in Jinhae are among the earliest in the country, making it the perfect place to ring in the spring season. Jinhae draws in a whopping 2 million visitors each year to witness the breathtaking sight of 360,000 cherry trees in full bloom. 

From March 25 to April 3, 2023, Jinhae transforms into a paradise of pink and white, with Yeojwacheon Stream, also known as the ‘Romance Bridge’, being a must-see with its cherry blossom tunnels in the sky and a bed of canola flowers on the ground. The Sipri cherry blossom road in Anmin Pass is a beautiful drive, and the view from Jinhae Tower in Jehwangsan Park, overlooking the city, is simply stunning with a tranquil cityscape of modern architecture and cherry blossom colonies.

In addition to the cherry blossom display, the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival also features the ‘Military Music Chairman Festival’, a spectacular military art performance presented by a disciplined military band in stylish uniforms. 

The Naval Academy and Jinhae Naval Base Command, normally off-limits, open their doors during the festival to give visitors a glimpse into the history of Korea’s naval port city. The festival also includes various events like the eve of the festival, Paldo Pungmul Market, and cultural and artistic performances in the Jungwon Rotary area, and a memorial ceremony honoring the spirit of Admiral Yi Sun-sin and a victory parade in front of his statue at Bukwon Rotary. 

The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival has a rich history, beginning in 1952 with the erection of a statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin and a memorial service held in his honor.

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Enjoy Jinhae Cherry Blossom and visit Haeundae Beach & Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan! Enjoy Jinhae Cherry Blossom and visit Haeundae Beach & Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan!
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Why this tour?

  • Jinhae Cherry Blossom: the most popular place to the see the breathtaking cherry
  • Haeundae Beach: one of the most popular beaches in Korea
  • Haedong Yonggungsa Temple: unique Buddhist temple located on a cliff with an exceptional


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Do I Need Tickets To Visit the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival?

No! There is no admission fee and you don’t need to purchase tickets in advance. However, for those who don’t have a car, it might be better to take advantage of the many bus tours heading down to Jinhae from Seoul and other parts of Korea during cherry blossom season. 

I recommend purchasing a one-day tour to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival through Trazy.

Famous Cherry Blossom Spots in Jinhae

The official recommended route for a trip to Jinhae during the festival is: 

Jangboksan Sculpture Park → Yeojwacheon Stream Cherry Blossom Road → Jinhae NFRDI Environment Eco-Park → Republic of Korea Naval Academy → Jehwangsan Park → Anmin Hill → Gyeonghwa Station

However, you can skip the Naval Academy to have more time to hang around and enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossoms.

Jangboksan Sculpture Park

This park can easily be skipped if you’re short on time. It’s a small park with different sculptures and a selection of beautiful cherry blossoms but other than that there isn’t much to see and I’d rather spend more time at the next stop, the Romance Bridge/Stream Cherry Blossom Road!

Yeojwacheon Stream

If you’re in search of a truly magical experience in Jinhae during the Cherry Blossom Festival, look no further than Yeojwacheon Stream.

This picturesque path stretches 1.5 km along a serene stream, surrounded by a mesmerizing curtain of cherry blossom trees. The “Romance Bridge” offers an unforgettable view of not just the cherry blossoms overhead, but also a sea of canola flowers beneath. Take a leisurely stroll, breathe in the sweet fragrance of the flowers, and let the natural beauty wash over you. Yeojwacheon Stream is a must-visit for anyone looking to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of Jinhae’s annual celebration of spring.

Nothing beats these photo opportunities against the backdrop of cherry flowers on beautiful arched bridges. Vendors sell delicious street food on both sides of the pathway. Be sure to come back at night when the entire area is lit up with ornaments creating an especially romantic ambiance.

Gyeonghwa Station

Next, be sure to take a stroll down the railway tracks at Gyeonghwa Station. Here, the cherry blossom trees create a dreamlike experience as they stretch 800 meters along the tracks. This breathtaking scene is truly one of the highlights of the festival, and it’s not to be missed by anyone who wants to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of Jinhae’s cherry blossoms.

However, since trains do not pass anymore, the site is too crowded and you can only enjoy live music and take pictures of one standing train. The trains used to pass through here which created the trees to sweep showering the ground with leaves. Therefore, it wasn’t one of my favorite spots.

Hidden Gem: Sammilsa Temple

We came across this lovely temple on top of a hill by pure chance our second year of visiting Jinhae during the cherry blossom season. Located atop Jangboksan Hill (same location where Jangboksan Sculpture Park is located), you basically follow the signs up the mountain. Once at the top, you’ll see the beautiful Sammilsa Temple (Korean: 삼밀사) and you’ll also have a breathtaking view of the city of Jinhae from high above.

Don’t forget to explore the temple itself after taking in the views. In the back part of the temple, you’ll find an astonishing collection of Buddha statues of all shapes and sizes.

Linda Goes East | Travel Blog

How To Get To Jinhae

You can take express buses or even a KTX into Changwon Station, the closest one to Jinhae. We decided to rent a car and drive down to give us more flexibility during the trip. Jinhae is located between Busan and the famous island of Geoje.

Where To Stay in Jinhae

Driving down to Jinhae from Cheongju, we phoned up a few motels trying to get a room for the same day. It was hard to find a proper place, especially because the local motel owners try to rip tourists off. We called a motel in Jinhae and booked 2 rooms for 140,000 KRW. When arriving, however, the owner explained that she “meant” to say it’s 140,000 KRW PER ROOM!

We decided to leave and called at least 15 different places until we found the perfect motel in Changwon (it was about 45 minutes by car from downtown Jinhae). The place was called WOW motel and was absolutely amazing! A double room was 80,000 KRW and had a huge bathroom with jacuzzi tub! We’ll be definitely back here.

Recommended Travel Guides for Korea

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DK Eyewitness Top 10 Seoul

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Lonely Planet Korea

You really can’t go wrong with a lonely planet guide in your hand luggage! I’m a huge fan of Lonely Planet and own this guide myself. What I love is the brand-new pull-out, passport-size ‘Just Landed’ card with wi-fi, ATM and transport info – all you need for a smooth journey from airport to hotel! Buy this book.

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Get your Free Seoul City Check List

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Linda

Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

15 Comments

  1. CityGirl on April 26, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Hi Linda!
    Oh my goodness the blossoms in Jinhae are just incredible! I have been wanting to go every year for the past 4 years I’ve been in Korea, but somehow the crowds always managed to put me off.
    We get some beautiful blossoms in my tiny town (Buan) and having a car means we can get to the very quiet , off the beaten track areas. But I do so wish I had gone at least once just to experience Jinhae.
    Oh well, I can live the experience through your photographs!
    x

    • Linda on May 1, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Thanks! It was a wonderful weekend trip for sure! Do you still live in Buan?

      • CityGirl on May 1, 2016 at 12:14 pm

        Hi Linda! Yes I do 🙂 My hubby and I have been here for 3 years, but we are heading back home to South Africa at the end of June 🙂

  2. Gina Panozzo on April 26, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I’m totally in love with Jinhae! I wanted to go there this year, but the hoards of people make me a bit iffy. I want to see the stream and walk down the 1.5km canopy road. It sounds super romantic! I love this!

    • Linda on May 1, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Definitely check it out next year! Let’s go together – hey hey! The motel we stayed at was absolutely amazing!

  3. Megan Indoe on April 26, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to this festival but never wanted to deal with the crowds of getting down there! So I am happy that I get to experience it through your post and lovely photos! You guys covered alot! I think the stream would be my favorite spot too! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Linda on May 1, 2016 at 11:41 am

      You should definitely go someday! I think it’s absolutely worth it ! and THE MOTEL! OH MY! You guys would absolutely love it!

      • Megan Indoe on May 2, 2016 at 11:46 pm

        Rats! Well we missed it again this year and sadly we are leaving in a few months 🙁 So perhaps we will have a chance if we make it back to Korea in the future!

  4. Alla on April 30, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Wow, maybe we were there at the same time this year, but you win! you got to take night pictures of the stream, haha. I also wrote a post about my experience there, here. Hope you get to check it out. Thanks! http://www.allaponomareva.com/jinhae-cherry-blossom-festival/

    • Linda on May 1, 2016 at 11:40 am

      We went down there on April 2nd! You took awesome pictures of what else was going on down there! Did you come across the seller shouting “degi degi BON degi!” ? hahah it was hilarious!

  5. Eric Hevesy on April 30, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Awesome photos of the Jinhae cherry blossom festival! I’ll tell you what, it looks quite a bit better than the Jeju festival, especially that Yeojwacheon Stream! The canopy of blossoms looks really beautiful, and I love the angles of the shots you took. I’ll have to try and visit there someday. Thanks for sharing!

    • Linda on May 1, 2016 at 11:39 am

      thanks! That’s a big compliment from a professional photographer! I feel honored haha

  6. Hedgers Abroad on May 1, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Lovely photos and post, Linda! We’ve never made it to Jinhae’s festival because of the crowds being so large and fears of having the same type of hotel experience you described! It is beautiful and worth it for those pictures, I’d imagine, but those crowds are legendary! Glad you had a wonderful time, and your photos and recommendations are excellent.

  7. Laura Nalin on May 2, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Great photos! I really love your hair and I wish I had the balls to dye mine that tone. I went last year and was a bit turned off by the amount of people as I felt it took away a bit of the magic. I love the photos you captured and I’m happy you found a great deal on a place – jacuzzi included!

  8. Wendy Flor on May 3, 2016 at 4:55 am

    Jinhae is the place to be for the cherry blossoms. I’d been seeing more than enough photos from there. Your hair looks amazing and is a stand out among those white blossoms… Good thing you found another place after that unpleasant change of rate.

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