Cherry blossoms mark the true beginning of spring, along with the arrival of glorious sunshine, refreshing breezes and all around spectacular picnic weather. Within Seoul, the most talked about place to see the blossoms is on Yeouido, a large island on the Han River where many of the tallest skyscrapers in Korea are located.
Yeouido’s Spring Flower Festival, which centers around the cherry blossoms, provides great views of the river, with streets closed off to car traffic, an impressive amount of food vendors and over 1,400 cherry blossom trees in less than a 4-mile stretch.
Sunset is the absolute perfect time to view cherry blossoms.
An entire evening can be set aside during cherry blossom season just to walk amongst the trees. It makes for a calmingly beautiful after-dinner treat and hardly gets boring, not even for those that never pay flowers any attention during the rest of the year, like myself.
While up close they aren’t remarkable; all together they make for an amazing sight.
Cherry blossoms are definitely worth planning a trip around, and crops like these aren’t only limited to Asia and Washington D.C. In Korea, the season typically runs from the end of March through almost all of April and there are numerous festivals built around them all over the country.
Streets all around Seoul are lined with beautiful rows of cherry blossoms.
After night falls on Yeouido, the trees are bathed in colored lights, heightening their light pink hues. It’s no wonder why so many photos are taken.
Yeouido lights up the trees at night, giving the flowers surreal colors.
As with most things even mildly popular in Seoul, there is always an enormous crowd on Yeouido during the peak blooming times.
Cherry blossoms are endlessly photogenic.
Unfortunately, cherry blossoms are incredibly fleeting and are now disappearing throughout Korea. No longer are the streets lined with gorgeous white flowers nor the light falling of its petals, marking the one time of year when gutters are actually beautiful.
A picnic under a cherry blossom tree is the perfect way to spend a spring afternoon.
As always, for more on Korean culture, food and oddities, read more from the Kimchi-ite here.
[All photos by Jonathan Kramer]