After years of waiting for the COVID storm to calm and restrictions to lift, I finally had the chance to return to Korea, mask-free, to experience my first spring and cherry blossom viewing. Jinhae was on high priority for me since the cherry blossom festival there is one of the largest and most popular in South Korea, but its location was not the easiest to get to by public transport.
Eventually I booked a one-day tour from Busan to Jinhae on Klook and it turned out to be a hassle-free and good experience. There were also other solo travelers like me on the tour of different nationalities. There was also an option for a day tour from Seoul to Jinhae but I would not recommend that since a one-way trip would take about 4-5 hours.
Departing from Busan Station, we arrived slightly ahead of time at Gyeonghwa Station (경화역 벚꽃길), which was an actual railway station up till 2006. The entire length of the station was not long, it probably took only 5-10 minutes to walk from one end to the other.
The crowd was huge considering it was a Friday morning, but it could be worse over the weekend. It was already past the blooming peak (as of 31 Mar 2023) and with the occasional strong breeze, I caught many moments of the falling petals which were simply magical.
At noon, we left to have lunch nearby the next destination, Yeojwacheon Stream (여좌천), which was only 10 mins away by bus. Compared to Gyeonghwa Station, the cherry blossom tree-lined streets along the stream were much longer and it was a pity we didn’t manage to walk till the end and back to the starting point even after 2 hours.=
There were also more stalls (think cherry blossom ice cream, cherry blossom latte, cherry blossom hairpins…) and restaurant/café options for a break. Again, huge crowds showed up though it was still comfortable enough to walk freely without bumping into others much.
Heading back to Busan, we encountered a considerable amount of traffic so it took close to 2 hours to reach – still a pretty comfortable ride thanks to the coach. And if you’re still wondering, yes I would recommend this day tour to Jinhae, though I would love to complete it with a night tour!