IT’S that time of year again! In Jinhae the cherry blossoms are out, and Busker Busker’s Cherry Blossom Ending is back in the charts. Again. Although, personally, my favourite Spring song is Roy Kim’s 봄봄봄 (spring, spring, spring).
JINHAE is home to the biggest and most well known of all the cherry blossom festivals in Korea and for the first ten days of April we are inundated with visitors and I see my yearly quota of selfie sticks. In their wielders defence, it is a beautiful festival. I could do without the traffic jams and filled-to-bursting buses, however!
THIS is my third Gunhangje, and I still love it as much as I did the first year (although I’m not at all a fan of the crowds!) The cherry blossoms are so beautiful and delicate, yet there is also a hardiness to the gnarled trunks and branches of the trees. I was told by a Korean acquaintance, the first year I saw the cherry blossoms, that it was a festival tinged with sadness as so many of the trees having been planted during the Japanese occupation. How true that is of the rest if the Korean population, I do not know, but what is clear is their love of these flowers, regardless of origin. It’s hard not to be captivated by them.
THERE are two major cherry blossom locations in Jinhae that people flock too. The more famous of the two is the Romance Bridge over Yeojwacheon stream, so called because it featured in the 2002 drama, Romance (which I should probably watch for this scene!)
I have yet to see it in daylight – maybe this year is the year – but I do love seeing it lit up, even if it challenges my photography skills!
THE second major location is Gyeonghwa Station. The train on this line only runs during the festival and does make for lovely photos.
AS you can see, even on a Monday afternoon it is all insanely busy! It’s a little like the Sistine Chapel in that it’s so beautiful, but spoiled by the hoards of people! It’s all about knowing where to go, and there are a few wee places that may not have pretty lights or bridges and may not have a train, but there are also little to no people and here you can enjoy the blossoms in relative peace!