Spring is here again and my senses are over joyed as I take in the warm sunshine, blooming trees and delightful smells of blossoming flowers! Could there be a better time of year?
There are a plethora of spring flowers blooming in Korea with average spring temperatures anywhere from 45-70 degree fahrenheit (5- 20 celsius.) The flower stealing the show of course being the Cherry Blossom!
There are several different species of cherry blossoms withone being native to Korea. Today several varieties can be viewed in Seoul. During the Japanese rule native Japanese cherry blossoms were brought into Korea. Great conflict has come with the symbolism of these trees, and many have been cut down. However, wherever the trees originated, the beauty of their blossoms is unquestionable and a call for celebration! Each spring locals and tourists come from around the world to view the amazing blossoms.
Spring graced us with it’s presence early this year forcing the Cherry Blossom Festival schedule to cater to mother nature. Festivities were pushed forward and we celebrated the beautiful blossoms a week early. (The festival is usually held mid April.)
In Seoul there are several wonderful locations to view the blossoms. This year I visited the Namsan Cherry Blossom Festival and Yeuido Spring Festival. Visitors flock to the festivals making for big crowds. To avoid this, try to visit on a weekday morning. But, if you can only make it during the weekend, no fear, the hustle and bustle can easily be overlooked as you take in the beauty of the blossoms.
My favorite place to view the cherry blossoms was at Namsan! You can find the largest concentration of cherry blossoms by starting in the mountain’s observatory parking lot, located on the south side, and walking up the electric bus road and pathway to the top. Another less congested option is walking along the circle route paths where you will also find many magnificent trees. Each path showcases glimpses of Seoul’s iconic North Seoul Tower and the city scape views behind the blossoms which make for fabulous pictures.
There are many different ways to get to Namsan Park.
My recommended route is a hike around one of Namsan Tower’s circle paths. To learn more about the path check out Namsan’s circle paths click here!
From Exit 4 of Chungmuro Station (Subway line 4), you can take a bus that circles Namsan and get off at Palgakjeong Pavilion.
You can also take the cable car after a short walk from Myeongdong Station (Subway line 4).
Namsan Oreumi is an outdoor elevator whose walls are made entirely of glass. It is free to use and has a 20 person capacity. It takes you halfway up to the summit of Namsan, offering amazing views on the way.
Yeouido is probably the most accessible festival in Korea. However, it is also the most crowded. Yeouido’s Yeouiseo-ro houses over 1,400 cherry blossoms. An arch of blossoms surrounds you as you walk along the road. Beyond gazing at the amazing buds there are entertainers, stages, and street food to enjoy. Make a day of it by packing picnic supplies and lounging by the Han River. For more information about Yeouido park click here!
There are several ways to get to Yeouido:
1) Dangsan Station (Subway Line 2 or 9), Exit 4. 20 minutes walk.
1) Yeouinaru Station (Subway Line 5), Exit 1. 20 minutes walk.
3) Yeouido Station (Subway Line 5 or 9), Exit 5. Take Bus 162, 262, or 461 to National Assembly (국회앞).
4) National Assembly Station (Subway Line 9), Exit 1 or 6. 5 minutes walk. (recommended)