When and Where to See Cherry Blossom 2023 in Korea

In South Korea, spring is closely associated with the cherry blossom season, known as beot-kkot (벚꽃) in Korean. This season is highly recommended for visiting Korea due to the mild temperature and picturesque sceneries that can be found throughout the country. From late March to early April, streets, parks, and mountainsides across the country burst into pink and white hues as the delicate petals of cherry blossoms bloom in abundance. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Korea’s cherry blossom season is an experience not to be missed.

Why you should not call it “sakura” in Korea

The term “sakura” has cultural and historical connotations specific to Japan, and using it to describe cherry blossoms in Korea may be seen as inappropriate or disrespectful to Korean culture. It’s important to respect the individual cultural identities and nuances of different countries and avoid conflating them or imposing one’s own cultural norms onto another. Instead, using the Korean term “beot-kkot” or simply “cherry blossom” when referring to cherry blossoms in Korea is more appropriate and respectful.

Read related article about the Independence Movement Day here.

Dates

Every year, the Korean Meteorological Administration releases a cherry blossom forecast that predicts where and when the cherry blossoms will bloom. The blooming period usually falls at the end of March and lasts until the middle of April, but this may vary slightly depending on the region. The forecast is especially helpful for planning trips to specific regions to view the cherry blossoms.

Find below the peak dates of the blooming season for each region:

Full bloom:

  • Jejudo, Seogwipo – March 27
  • Changwon – March 28
  • Gwangju – March 29
  • Mokpo – March 29
  • Jeonju – March 29
  • Ulsan – March 30
  • Busan – March 30
  • Yeosu – March 30
  • Pohang – April 1
  • Incheon – April 10
  • Gangneung – April 1
  • Daegu – April 2
  • Daejeon – April 2
  • Cheongju – April 2
  • Daegu – April 2
  • Seoul – April 3
  • Andong – April 5
  • Suwon – April 8
  • Seosan – April 11
  • Chuncheon – April 12

Cherry blossom trees can be found all over Korea, but if you want to make the most out of your cherry blossom experience in Korea, festivals are usually the best to attend. Cherry blossom festivals are held in many cities in Korea to celebrate the arrival of spring. These festivals offer a variety of programs and activities, such as music performances, food stalls, and nighttime illuminations, which enhance the overall viewing experience. In addition, the festival locations are carefully chosen based on the cherry blossom forecast, ensuring that visitors can enjoy the full splendor of the blooms.

Festivals’ Dates and Regions in 2023

Cherry Blossom Festival in Jinhae

For three years, due to social distancing and COVID restrictions, these festivals were cancelled, however now that the restrictions have been lifted, the festivals are back, and people can once again enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms and the festivities that come with them. To ensure that you have a spot to see the beautiful cherry blossoms, it’s best to book your tickets at least weeks or even months in advance. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast as the exact timing of the cherry blossom season can change based on temperature and rainfall patterns.

  • Changwon, Jinhae: Jinhae Gunhangjae Festival – March 24~April 2
  • Busan: Samnak Cherry Blossom Festival – end of March
  • Ulsan: Gunggeorang Cherry Blossom Festival – end of March
  • Gyeongnam Hadong: Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival – end of March
  • Gyeongju: Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival – end of March
  • Gyeongju: Cherry Blossom Marathon – beginning of April
  • Gyeongnam Sacheon: Seonjinri Fortress Cherry Blossom Festival – end of March
  • Gyeongnam, Tongyeong: Bongsutgol Cherry Blossom Festival – end of March
  • Seoul: Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival – beginning of April ~mid-April
  • Seoul: Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival beginning of April ~mid-April
  • Daejeon: Daecheongho Lake Cherry Blossom Festival – beginning of April
  • Daegu: E-World Starlight Cherry Blossom Festival – end of March ~ mid-April
  • Daegu: Palgongsan Mountain Cherry Blossom Festival – end of March ~ mid-Aprilf
  • Chungcheongbuk Jecheon: Cheongpung Lake Cherry Blossom Festival – beginning of April
  • Gangneung: Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival – beginning of April ~ mid-April

Which cherry blossom festival is the most popular in Korea?

While there are many great spots to view cherry blossoms in Korea, Jinhae (진해) is considered one of the best.

Jinhae is a district in the city of Changwon, located in the southern part of Korea. It is home to the famous Jinhae Gunhangje Festival, which is one of the largest and most popular cherry blossom festivals in the country. During the festival, the streets of Jinhae are adorned with pink and white cherry blossoms, creating a spectacular sight.

However, there are still a lot of options in Seoul as well. See the best locations for cherry blossom viewing in Seoul in the next slides.

Where to see cherry blossom in Seoul?

  • Changgyeonggung Palace (창경궁)
    Address: 185, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Cherry blossom in Korea in 2023 map and forecast. Full bloom dates

  • Namsan Park
    Address: 231, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul

  • Yeouido Hangang Park
    Address: Yeouiseo-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul

  • Seokchon Lake
    Address: 136, Samhaksa-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
  • Children’s Grand Park (어린이대공원)
    Address: 216, Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
  • Seoul Grand Park (서울대공원)
    Address: 102, Daegongwongwangjang-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
  • Naksan Park (낙산공원)
    Address: 41, Naksan-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Dream Forest (북서울 꿈의숲)
    Address: 173, Wolgye-ro, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul
  • Seoul Forest (서울숲)
    Address: 273, Ttukseom-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Image source: PxHere
  • Yangjaecheon Stream (양재천)
    Address: Baumoe-ro 12-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul
  • Bulgwangcheon Stream (불광천)
    Address: Eunpyeong-gu, Eunpyeong-ro
Image source: TFurban

Lastly, every year, as the cherry blossom season approaches in Korea, the familiar melody of “Cherry Blossom Ending” by Busker Busker can be heard playing everywhere from cafes to street corners. The song has become an anthem for the cherry blossom season and has captured the hearts of Koreans and tourists alike. The song was released in 2012 and quickly became a hit, with its catchy melody and lyrics that perfectly capture the fleeting beauty of the cherry blossoms.

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