Complete Guide To The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival
Spring has finally arrived and the whole country of South Korea seems to be undergoing a transformation! Everywhere in the country, you can see an ocean of white cherry blossoms, however the most spectacular place to see them must be the city of Jinhae on the southern tip of the Peninsula! Each year, the town holds the famous Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival dedicated to the precious trees.
Here’s the complete guide to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival:
Fun Facts About Jinhae
Jinhae has held their cherry blossom festival annually since April 13, 1952. Today, it is the largest cherry blossom festival in the country and lures in around 2 million visitors each year, who flock to Jinhae to see the endless canopy of cherry blossoms over the entire city.
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!
This is probably my favorite walk in the entire city. You simply follow this 1.5 km long path along a stream lined with cherry blossom trees creating a breathtaking canopy.
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.
The railway tracks at Gyeonghwa Station stretch for about 800 meters. This spot is considered one of the best attractions in Jinhae during the festival.
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.
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
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 next year!
The Perfect Spring Weekend Trip! Pin it xo