After what seemed like an eternal winter (not really complaining), spring has finally returned to Seoul. The first signal is the blooming of cherry blossoms all across the country; something I really look forward to every year.
So far, this year has been a bit busy and I was afraid that my most recent trip to California was going to prevent me from partaking in the cherry blossom festivities. Luckily, they bloomed a bit late this year and I didn’t miss a beat. That being said, we didn’t really have time to plan a trip to a festival outside of Seoul, so we settled for the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival aka the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival.
It had been years since we attended this festival because it was always pure chaos! There’s always tons of people pushing and shoving their way to the trees that line either side the street trying to get that perfect picture. The lack of trash cans made way for lots of food garbage being thrown on the floor or into the bushes. Plus there’s always a handful of jerks climbing the trees and picking the flowers or ripping off a branch. Needless to say it was not enjoyable at all, so we stopped going and started to look for other options.
Keeping our previous experiences in mind, we approached this festival with very low expectations. When we arrived, we were already met with hordes of people. However, as we continued to walk down the street the crowds thinned out and it turned into a pretty pleasant Saturday afternoon stroll. The crowds around the trees were manageable and we didn’t have any problems snapping some pretty cute photos.
Outside of the cherry blossom trees themselves, there was NOTHING else going on. We came across a mime, a magician and a man performing a bubble show and that’s it. There were no food booths, handmade crafts for sale or any kind of cherry blossom themed activities. To be honest, it wasn’t really a cherry blossom festival so much as a cherry blossom viewing.
If you was to go to an actual cherry blossom festival in Seoul, I recommend checking out the Seokchon Cherry Blossom Festival it’s nothing too overwhelming, but you’ll definitely get more of those festival vibes. Personally, I really enjoyed the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival. It has cherry blossom themed food, drinks and crafts. There are also different areas to check out the cherry blossoms so it doesn’t get too congested in one place. We really enjoyed ourselves and that has been our favorite cherry blossom festival so far.
So if you’re looking for a low key way to spend your Saturday afternoon definitely check out the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival or bump it up a notch and make your way to the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, pack a bag and make your way to Jinhae. I promise you won’t regret it!