Cherry Blossom Festival Adds to Charm of Naval Port City

People flock to Changwon in South Gyeongsang Province in April to see the cherry trees in bloom. The southern city holds the country's biggest cherry blossom festival near Jinhae naval port at this time of year, and it starts its 10-day run on Tuesday.

Yeojwa Stream and Jinhae Tower are regarded as the two best places to catch the cherry blossoms at their most beautiful. The 1.5-km stream, which runs through the center of the city, is one of the highlights of the festival as the cherry trees lining its banks lend the sky a pinkish tinge. Its paths become strewn with petals as the flowers from the tress swirl in the wind.

Visitors can take a monorail up Mt. Jehwang to Jinhae Tower and stand on its rooftop to enjoy sweeping views of the city, which boasts an amazing 360,000 cherry blossom trees. These look spectacular when framed against the verdant forest and cloudless spring sky.

During the festival a light show is held around the stream and Jehwang Mountain Park, with thousands of colored lights illuminating the trees to create a magical ambience after sunset.

A military music band parade and honor guard will also take place from next Friday for three days, among other events. The band's stirring performance allows visitors to feel more of the charm of this naval port city. During the festival, military installations are open to the public and visitors can experience various programs such as boarding a warship or cruise yacht and dressing up in a navy officer's uniform. Other cultural and art performances will also be held throughout the festival period.

Meanwhile, the Changwon municipal government has arranged various traffic control measures to ensure things proceed smoothly. Over the weekend some streets will be closed to vehicles. A shuttle train between Masan Station and Jinhae Station will also operate 12 times a day.

For more information about the festival call 055-255-2341 or visit http://english.gntour.com.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 28, 2014 10:26 KST