Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Comes Early as Flowers Already in Bloom

      March 27, 2019 11:20

      Korea's largest cherry blossom festival will kick off its 10-day run in Jinhae, South Gyeongsang Province next week.

      At this time of year the southern port city fills with visitors looking to capture memorable pictures under the cherry trees. As flowers started to bloom about a week earlier than the average this year, festivalgoers are expected to flock to the city this weekend.

      Yeojwa Stream is one of the must-see places there. Cherry trees line the banks of the 1.5-km stream, with the paths on either side becoming strewn with pink petals of the cherry flowers. At night, colored LED lights illuminate the trees, making it a great spot for taking pictures either at daytime or nighttime.

      Gyeonghwa Station is another scenic spot. The small railway station has become one of the festival's most popular attractions, as the cherry trees lining the approximately 800 m of railroad track create a breathtaking backdrop. The pink petals swirling in the wind as a train passes by would present an unforgettable sight.

      For those who want to look at the aerial view of the city, Jinhae Tower would be a perfect place. The nine-story tower resembling a navy battleship offers spectacular views of the city covered with cherry blossoms. Visitors can take a monorail or climb a flight of 365 steps to get to the tower.

      There will be a variety of events during the festival. The Korea Naval Academy and the city's naval base will be open to the public from Saturday to April 10. A military band from the naval base will parade through the streets from April 5 to April 7. There will also be an air show by the Air Force's Black Eagles aerobatic team on April 5.

      For those who want to enjoy some outdoor activities, a nearby marine park there offers zip lines in time for this year's festival. They are the country's first zip lines connecting two islands, and the longest over a stretch of water. The organizers of the festival expect the launch of the zip lines will attract about 24,000 visitors this year, up 30 percent from previous years.

      Starting with the opening ceremony of the festival on Sunday, various events and performances including a fireworks show on April 4 will be offered. Free shuttle buses will be provided on weekends during the festival, and double-decker buses will offer 90-minute tours.

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