The Highlight of Spring in Korea: Cherry Blossoms

This year the cherry blossoms started blooming from the last week of March and lasted through the first week of April. Cherry blossom season is surprisingly brief, lasting only around two weeks…weather permitting. The slightest bit of wind or rain would induce, as my students called it, flower snow.

The first cherry blossoms I spotted were at my school. The building and field (erm, dirt lot) is actually surrounded by cherry blossom trees.

yeongdo girls high school

yeongdo girls cherry blossoms

You don’t really need much more than pictures for this post.

yeongdo girls cherry blossom path   yeongdo cherry blossoms

During the weekend, when the cherry blossoms would be in full bloom, I originally planned to go to Jinhae, where there’s a cherry blossom festival. But everyone I talked to only repeated the same lines about how crowded it would be. Some even told me I shouldn’t go, but if I must, I should go super early to beat the crowds. Feeling in dire need of sleep that weekend, I never intended to go early. But I didn’t intend to wake up that late either. I was late, tired, and the friend who would’ve met me at Jinhae had to leave earlier than expected.

So instead I ended up at Oncheoncheon, a river and popular destination in Busan to view cherry blossoms. I started off at Dongnae station (both exit 2 and 4 work).

dongnae station

The station is surrounded by cherry blossom trees, but the first thing you encounter are bright yellow patches of 유채꽃, also known as rapeseed or canola flowers.

The stream is beautiful as well, lined with cherry blossoms and, on this day, the banks were overflowing with food tents and people enjoying one of the first warm days of spring. There were ducks, a very collected crane, and large fish which alternated between cruising and swimming laboriously upstream.

cherry blossom tree

It was hard to get away from people, impossible even, but there were some fun characters in the crowd: adorable baby-grandma combos, confused toddlers, and amusing but obnoxious couples determined to get the perfect selfie. The bike path was just as busy, and you could frequently hear the light ding-ding of a bicycle bell signaling its approach.

Even after departing from the stream’s path, cherry blossoms filled the neighborhoods. They were just about as beautiful on the ground as they were on trees and in the air.

cherry blossoms steps

And I, after this peaceful excursion, entered a Starbucks to order myself a Cherry Blossom Cream Latte.