Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival is one of South Korea’s most popular spring festivals and also one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Korea.
This festival in Jinhae-gu, a district of the city of Changwon in the south of Korea, sees around 2 million visitors a year. With a multitude cherry trees across the area, Jinhae turns into an absolute dream.
This post will give an overview of the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival and its two main attractions: the Yeojwacheon Stream and Gyeonghwa Station.
About the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival
The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival takes in Jinhae, Changwon in Gyeongsangnam-do Province on the southern coast of South Korea.
This festival is also known as the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival (진해군항제), or Naval Base Festival. It celebrates Admiral Yi Sun-shin’s naval victory over Japan during the Joseon Dynasty. There is a statue of Yi in Jinhae.
Look at how soft and dreamy these cherry blossoms are
When to Visit for the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival
The festival usually takes place over approximately 10 days in late March/early April. This is generally sometime between March 25th and April 10th.
Because of COVID-19, the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival has been canceled in 2022, like it was in 2020 and 2021. However, the famous cherry blossom spots are open for cherry blossom enthusiasts to stroll around this year.
A word of warning: Jinhae can be absolutely swarming with visitors during the cherry blossom festival. It’s basically the destination for cherry blossoms in Korea, especially outside of Seoul’s lovely spots for cherry blossoms. So go early in the day if you want to avoid the crowds.
Crowd of people at Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival
Despite all the people, Jinhae is really lovely and well worth a trip to see the cherry blossoms at least once.
How to Get to Jinhae
Jinhae is around 233 miles/375 kilometers from Seoul, or about a 5-hour drive.
You can pretty easily travel from Seoul to Jinhae on public transportation. You can take an intercity bus to Changwon (takes 4.5 hours) or take the KTX to Changwon Jungang Station (about 4 hours). From there, you can take a local bus or taxi to the festival.
Jinhae is about 30/50 kilometers from Busan, or about a 45 minute drive.
For public transportation from Busan to Jinhae, the bus is your best option. You can take the bus into Changwon and then a local bus or taxi to Jinhae. This journey takes about 1.5-2 hours.
Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Jinhae
Yeojwacheon Stream in 2016 and 2022
Roads on either side of the stream
Even when it’s populated with people, Yeojwacheon Stream is still a placid and romantic spot to see the cherry blossoms. The stream is also pretty long, so if you keep walking, you might be able to find a less populated spot to enjoy the cherry blossoms.
Gyeonghwa Station (경화역) is a charming train station with railroad tracks fringed by loads of cherry trees. It was a functioning train station until 2006, when it was put out of service.
Tiny Gyeonghwa Station building
Gyeonghwa Station is particularly popular for the train that sits on the nearby tracks, making a unique photo opportunity. When I first visited Jinhae in 2016, the train was directly on the tracks, but when I visited this year, the train was off to the side a little. I’m not sure if that’s a permanent change or something because of the pandemic.
The train at Gyeonghwa Station
Tons of cherry trees — so nice