When you think of cherry blossoms viewing during Spring, one country would immediately come to mind: Japan. And while that is true, there are still other places around Asia that offer hanami experience. Yes, Japan does enchant with its breathtaking hanami season, but tourists are also starting to look towards visiting South Korea for the sakura viewing.
South Korea is not just the best place for barbeque meats and beauty shopping; during Springtime, you can also catch the beautiful cherry blossoms around Seoul. Here Is a guide on the best places for cherry blossoms in Seoul.
THE BLOOM DATES FOR CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN SEOUL
The cherry blossom trees are predicted to bloom in early April, with the peak from 09 April 2017 to 11 April 2017.
They are more short-lived than the trees in Japan (that could last up to 2 weeks), and this prediction is an average from recent year’s patterns.
#1 YEOUIDO PARK CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Yeouido Park is arguably the most popular spot for hanami in Seoul. The Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, located on the Han river, takes place annually in Spring.
There are over 1,600 trees dotting the area, and on top of taking a stroll to admire the beautiful pink canopies, you can also get your portraits drawn, and pig out over street snacks at the many street stalls.
#2 GYEONGBOKGUNG CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Gyeongbokgung is the most notable palace in Seoul, and the palace compound is dotted with sakura trees. During Spring, the palace is another type of wonderful—with a sea of pretty pink pastels against a backdrop of ancient buildings spotting strong, primary hues.
Photo Credit: Happy Dalki
#3 CHANGGYEONGGUNG CHERRY BLOSSOMS
The lesser known palace is actually the best palace out of the five in Seoul for hanami. During the Japanese rule, the Japanese planted trees all over the palace’s compounds, and today, we reap their harvest.
Photo Credit: TRAZY
#4 SEOKCHON LAKE CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Seokchon Lake is a man-made lake that sits within Lotte World amusement park, where cherry blossoms trees are aplenty. People flock to the East of Seoul for this festival, and apart from hanami, you can also enjoy a variety of performances, exhibitions and activities such as face painting.
Admission for Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival is free.
#5 SAMCHEONG-DONG CHERRY BLOSSOMS
This is one of our favourite areas in Seoul, and the mix of new and old is precisely what charmed us. Cherry blossom trees are scattered sporadically along the area, in random corners and every other street.
Look out for a huge park where hundreds of cherry blossoms trees await, and there is Jeongdok Library which sits in the heart of Samcheong-dong.
Photo Credit: TRAZY
#6 NAMSAN CHERRY BLOSSOMS
A popular scenic route is Namsan (South Mountain), and you are encouraged to hop on the cable car for an obstructed view of the city and cherry blossom trees.
There are many more activities at await at Namsan; you might be familiar with the N Seoul Tower.
Photo Credit: Seoulist
#7 YANGJAECHEON CHERRY BLOSSOMS
The Yangjae Stream in Gangnam has a 3.5m walking path and a path specially for cyclists, with sakura trees lining the sides of the pathways.
Photo Credit: This User Is Dead
#8 KYUNGHEE UNIVERSITY CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Kyunghee University sits on the North of Seoul, but that does not deter visitors from all over to make a trip to the compound; the campus’ blooms is well worth the trip. Anyone can enter the campus, except that you need a student card to selected restricted areas such as the library.
The university is filled with various sakura trees; from white petals to pink beauties, Kyunghee University is one of the best spots in Seoul for hanami.
Photo Credit: Bj Kwon Photography
#9 SEOUL NATIONAL CEMETERY CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Unlike your usual parks, the Seoul National Cemetery is a sombre contrast to the jolly crowd everywhere else. As if a cemetery is not already a place filled with sorrow, the cherry blossoms trees here weeping cherry trees no less.
There is something mysterious yet alluring about the long, draping branches of pale pink flowers that makes Seoul National Cemetery an increasingly popular site for hanami.