Thursday, March 26, 2009

2006 Cherry Blossom Festival in Yeouido, Seoul -- 2009 Cherry Blossoms COMING SOON!!!

This weekend Julianne and I are heading to Seoul to look at the Yeouido-area cherry blossom trees . . .

I have gone to the Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival and the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival every year I've been in Korea. I'm not sure what the actual difference is between the two, or if they're actually the same festival with two different names . . . though the info below says "behind the National Assembly building" for the Hangang part of the festival . . .

Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

(Information below is from the link in the title.)

Every year nearly 4 million people visit the , one of the most famous festivals in Seoul. This year, the festival is scheduled to run for 16 days, from April 3 (Friday) to April 18 (Saturday). The theme of this year’s festival will be ‘flowers that bloom from the sky’, and various performances, exhibitions, and events will take place throughout the Yeouido Park and Yeouiseo-ro areas.

During the festival period, visitors can admire gorgeous spring flowers such as cherry blossoms, azaleas, forsythias, and royal azaleas set against the backdrop of the Hangang River. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a number of famous performances and works of art by skilled artists from all over the world. A highlight of the festival will be ‘For Tarantella’, a unique collaborative performance by three performing arts companies from Korea and France, and around 100 other performances will take place during the festival at locations along the cherry blossom roads. Seven performing arts companies have been specially invited from the United States, France, Japan, and other countries, and many companies from Korea will also take part in the festival.

Convenient public transportation is available to the <2009>. Please visit the links below or call the travel information line (1330) for more information and for directions to the festival.

☞Period: April 3, 2009 (Friday) ~ April 18, 2009 (Saturday)
☞Location: Yeouido Park and Yeouiseo-ro areas (behind the National Assembly building)
☞Transportation: Exit #4, subway line 2, Dangsan station, 15min walk / Exit #1~3, Yeouinaru station, subway line 5, 20min walk / Exit #1, Yeouido station, subway line 5, 25min walk
☞Programs: Opening ceremony, parade, live performances (47 domestic and international performance companies; all free of charge; “Fringe” team, and more), exhibitions (flower decoration exhibitions, travel photography exhibition, composition contest, poetry recitals, etc.)
☞Travel Information Telephone: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞Homepage: (English)

Simply put, just head to the 2km laneway that runs around the National Assembly building in the Yeouido area next to the Han river and you'll find the festival. You can see the laneway and assembly building in the pic below.

If you love taking pics like I do this festival is like going to picture opportunity heaven . . . in 2006 I only had a Pentax point and shoot camera, and still think that I got some awesome pics. Now that I have a pretty good SLR camera it's going to be even more fun to go and take pictures.

This dude had a seriously cool rig for selling hot dogs.

I was a little late getting to the festival in 2006. You can see the cherry blossom petals already beginning to fall off the trees.

I love this pic with the woman wearing the pink dress . . .

There's a park near the river (argh, can't think of the name right now) that has a lot of cherry blossom trees and other flowers too.

If you hate crowds I would strongly suggest you avoid the Yeouido area during this festival, and especially on weekends.

Trying to set up a tripod to take pics on the sidewalks is pretty much impossible, and even on the laneway itself is difficult. If you want to do these kinds of shots I'd suggest going very early in the morning on a weekday.

Like I said, expect CROWDS.

Yep, it's me. If you're around the area and see a shaved head guy with "Matrix"-sunglasses (every Korean student says this) please say hi.

Uhm . . . right, I'd forgotten about this picture. Expect to see 'interesting' English printed on t-shirts and sweaters . . .

Down by the river I ran into a large number of kids flying kites.

National Assembly building.

I think this weekend might be a little early to be checking out the cherry blossoms around Yeouido and the National Assembly building . . . . but I was in Seoul yesterday running errands and saw several single trees on the sidewalks that already had cherry blossoms in partial bloom if not full bloom . . .

Saturday is supposed to have a fair amount of clear skies in Seoul and cool/cold temperatures . . . I don't know how much of the 2m lane way cherry blossom trees will be in full bloom, but I'm planning on going to Seoul every weekend for the next 3 and even 4 weeks because there are other cherry blossom locations that I want to take pics at too.

Hope to see some of you at the festival,

1 comment:

Brian said...

I don't understand why more cities don't put up flowers or flowering trees. If I become mayor of something, that's one of the first things I'll do. Pittsburgh has three rivers---well, two that merge into one---yet nothing along their banks. We need cherry blossoms.

I was contemplating going to Jinhae next weekend, but I don't think I could handle all the crowds. The trees are certainly pretty, but I don't know if I would like the atmosphere.

Incidentally, probably the nicest display I've seen in person was in Washington D.C. Not only nice trees but a perfect backdrop.