Few Days before the Opening of Donghaksa Cherry Blossom Festival

Lanterns on the cherry blossom street for upcoming Buddha’s Birthday

It seems that every spring Korea is buzzing with cherry blossom fever at around this time of the year.  No wonder people are excited to go see the flower trees at the “hottest viewing spots” such as Jinhae or Yeouido as you cannot deny that these trees are more beautiful when many of them are together and are in full bloom.  Near the city of Daejeon, the cherry blossom festival held at Donghaksa temple in Gyeryongsan Mountain is famous among those seeking a perfect photo zone.

I decided to take a bus ride – no transfer is needed as 107 bus goes all the way to the entrance of Donghaksa.  The festival begins on April 10th which is three days away but as the bus gets close to its final stop I could see rows of tents and street vendors selling foods and other miscellaneous goods.  The festival spirit has already begun.

The cherry blossom “tunnel”
A rather ugly entrance marker of the festival

I chose a cloudy Tuesday for a reason.  I knew that I would never be able to cope with the crowd on a sunny weekend during the festival.  However, I was wrong as even on a weekday before festival there were still quite a lot of people plus more vehicles on the street.  Maybe this is not considered busy in Korea and I might just have to get adjust to it.

Flowers are pretty, but can’t beat the beauty of Gyeryongsan Mountain


As I was walking under the “tunnels” of cherry blossom, I imagined the street without the vendors and amplified music.  Just quiet calmness with some flowers still blooming while others fall off the trees.  The rows of ivory-pink walls within the arms of great Mount Gyeryong and nothing else.  How wonderful that would have been!

A happy group of selfie-taking girls
Would be nice to have a cup of tea under the blossoms
Something for all ages
And of course, the food

On the other hand, the crowd, the foods, and all that noise are part of Korean culture.  In Canada, I got to enjoy the nature that was kept untouched but here in Korea it is whole another experience.  People enjoy coexisting in nature by sharing the beauty of it with others (and the government allows merchants to make money off from this opportunity) which all I can say is a unique part of life in Korea.



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