Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Korea 2012: Sakura Ohanami Season, Seoul // ソウルのさくら・お花見名所

Sakura {cherry blossoms}are my favourite flower. The mesmerising blossoms come alive for only one to two weeks in early Spring, and I've always said that words and pictures do not do justice to what you feel when standing in front of a Sakura tree in full bloom. You have to experience it for yourself.

We did not plan our visit to Seoul just for お花見 {o-hanami, cherry-blossom viewings} but thankfully the Sakura season started just before we left :) God's blessings indeed! It was actually snowing the week before we arrived!

Here are the places we saw Sakura, and other famous places that Koreans traditionally like to visit for o-hanami in Seoul:

Yeouido {Yeoinaru Station or Yeouido Station, Line 5}
We went here the day before we left with Jaye & Yujin and it was super, super crowded!! There's an annual Spring Flower Festival and over 1,000 Sakura trees there, especially along Yunjungno Path. Great place for picnics, cycling & there's fireworks at night during the festival.

Namsan Park {Myeondong Station, Line 4 -> cable car or Chungmuro Station, Line 4 -> bus}
Another place with Cherry Blossom Festivals held annually. The Cherry Blossom Path here is the longest avenue of Sakura trees in Seoul and during the festival, you can enjoy walking tours and street performances.

Cheonggyecheon {Dongdaemun Station, Line 1 or Gwanghwamun Station, Line 5 etc.}
We discovered the Sakura trees along the stream on a random walk from Insadong to Dongdaemun.  It's the perfect place for a leisure stroll through the city of Seoul and be sure to look out for the various iconic structures & artistic designs on the walls.

Gyeongbokgung {Gyeongbokgung Station, Line 3 or Gwanghwamun Station, Line 5}
The grandest of all the 5 imperial palaces, it was only a few minutes walk away from our hotel. The National Palace Museum of Korea & National Folk Museum are located here too. There's many Sakura trees to enjoy, as the previous Joseon kings did,  and I expect the other imperial palaces like Changdeokgung to be wonderful places for o-hanami too.

Kyunghee University {Hoegi Station, Line 1}
A prestigious university with over 200 Sakura trees from the front gate to the main building making it a popular tourist attraction. Reminds me of my old Japanese university with Sakura trees at its front gate too.. あぁぁ~懐かしい!

Photo collages created using My Memories Digital Scrapbook software. Get US$10 off its retail price + US$10 spending voucher with this discount code: STMMS26017

What are your favourite flowers?

More posts on my Korean travels here

Other Korea travel posts:
Le Chef Korean Restaurant @ Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Dongdaemun


Lyndal said...

Oh my - these are SO Beautiful! thankyou for sharing :)

The Imperfect Housewife said...

I love cherry blossoms too :)

SportyMummy said...

Lovely photos Ai! Sounds like you had a wonderful time :)

Deb @ home life simplified said...

Gorgeous! love the way they look and hope to someday experience them in person. I dream as well of getting to one of the tulip festivals overseas one day.

Ming said...

Lovely! Oh you make me miss the time when I saw sakura in full bloom in Tokyo's Ueno Park. I must must must make my hb bring me there again with my girl someday. It's something very magical to look up and see a whole sky of white sakura blooming... and look down to see the whole ground covered with white petals. :)

Skylar Magazine said...

I love Cherry Blossoms also, my aunt and uncle's next door neighbor in Richmond has a Cherry Blossom tree, I think his is a Japanese Cherry Blossom, it is gorgeous! Of course, by the time I left a lot of the blossoms had fallen off, because of he wind and stuff, but I did get to see it when it was in full bloom.


Cynful Pleasure said...

cherry blossom.. my mum just came back from China, and it seems there is a Uni which planted the cherry blossom there too!

Theresa Mahoney said...

So, so beautiful! Why is it the prettiest trees only bloom for two weeks? That's why I love spring- all the beautiful blooms and colors on the trees. I wish it looked like that year round!

Thanks for sharing the lovely photos Ai!

Susan said...

I would love to catch the cherry blossom season in Korea or Japan. My bro just came back from Tokyu and the photos of Sakura everywhere was simply breathtaking!

Unknown said...

Beautiful post Ai! Love the pictures, cherry blossoms are so gorgeous!! My MIL just returned from China, I should ask her if she saw any :)


Stacy said...

Lovely photos of the blossoms! I haven't seen a whole spread before (the few sprigs brought in at CNY don't count!) and I'm sure you're right that you have to be there to experience it.

oomph. said...

ive never seen these flowers in person, but in photos they are always beautiful! thanks for sharing your trip with us!

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Ai Sakura said...

Yes, pity these only bloom for a week or two. But its rarity makes it all the more appealing I guess :) do hope you all will be able to view them in real life one day!

Oliveoylz said...

Love the sakura blooms so much! Brings back memories way back in 2005 when I was in Japan to catch the sakura. Super awesome! Bet you had a very lovely time in Korea! No better time to go than during the sakura season:)

Grace said...

I so miss Hanami ! My favourite spots in Japan were Hirosaki Castle in Aomori and Shinjuku Koen in Tokyo. It looks like it's just about as good in Korea !