There were trees everywhere — some of the best spots were just off the side of the road. These were taken beside a parking lot.
I suppose we should invest in a selfie stick
a new favorite — similar to japanese takoyaki but without the ball of dough
in case you’re wondering – these are ice cream cones
wearing matching outfits is popular in korea. seriously.
so far my fave korean street food — fried potato swirl on a stick, dipped in sour cream and chive powder
another popular street food dish — whole fried squid dusted in seasoned spices
get your fresh hot steaming bowl of silk worms! I’m building up the courage to try this — but I can’t do an entire bowl.
corn dog + fries = fried corn dog?
this looked to be a some kind of number game (?) with the ultimate prize being a large sugar sculpture?
I’m usually extremely wary about festivals or tourist attractions or any place or event that has lots of people. The thought of elbowing through throngs of photo-happy crowds almost prevented me from even wanting to attend the cherry blossom festival in Jinhae, the most well-known place to see cherry blossoms in Korea.
The thing about living in another country for a finite amount of time is the knowledge that you have to make the most of every opportunity. So we decided to get up super early to beat traffic, drive through the rain, search for parking, buy an umbrella from a convenience story (after which, of course, it stopped raining), and push our way through lines of people to take a million photos of cherry blossoms.
I’m glad we went.
We started at what we thought was the end of Yeojwacheon Stream and made our way to what we thought was the other ‘end,’ but really there seemed to be no beginning or end, just a line of arching pink as far as the eye could see. Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if Jinhae had more cherry blossoms than people — they were everywhere! After we walked along the boardwalk, stopping at every single bridge to take photos, we decided to stroll along the vendor-lined streets looking for a bite — or five — to eat. I wasn’t expecting there to be so much food to try or such a lively festival atmosphere, but even in the somewhat dreary weather everyone was laughing and having a good time. It was infectious and we had a lot of fun.
After snacking our way along the stream we found some steps that led down to the water and proceeded to explore the more natural part of the path. It was kind of surreal walking along the stream with Sly, under a canopy of cherry trees while pink petals rained down on our heads.
Year after year, no matter how many times I see the cherry blossoms, or for that matter, no matter where I see them, for some reason it always feels new and exciting and filled with wonder and awe. It never seems to get old. And I hope it never does.
Jinhae (also known as Chinhae) Cherry Blossom Festival // FREE entry. Free street parking and free lot parking available. On site bathrooms are clean and have running water // Typically held over the course of 10 days in the last weeks of March/first couple weeks of April // This is one of the most widely popular festivals in Korea, with something like over 2 million visitors over the course of 10 days so you can expect a crowd, especially on the weekends. The festival also commemorates a famous naval victory. Many — MANY — tour buses come this way. The Korean Rail system also has a special train that stops in Jinhae during this time. There are a gazillion places to take pictures in Jinhae — there are a lot of bridge shots made famous by a Korean drama, there’s the train blowing through the blossoms photo (Gyeonghwa Station), there’ are sculpture gardens and all kinds of hikes. At night, everything is lit up and you can take even more photos under heart shaped light arches. The blossoms are everywhere! We only explored one small section of Yeojwacheon Stream, arriving at around 10 am on a Sunday and leaving just after noon. When we arrived it was just actually not that busy — there were crowds but not annoyingly so. We easily found free parking just a block off the main road (we followed parking signs) and about 10 minutes walk to the river. By the time we left, however, the main road was completely backed up all the way out to the very beginning of the town — and it was not moving. All of the bridges along the river were absolutely congested with people and their corresponding selfie sticks. If there is one tip I can give it’s to get there early, ESPECIALLY on a weekend. Plan on getting all your touristy shots before noon, then get the heck outta there. Also – bring cash for the street vendors.