Spring in Korea brings an influx of beautiful Korean cherry blossom trees throughout Jeju Island. Even the island’s capital, Jeju City, spots the pink buds throughout its city streets—a lovely departure from the cold Jeju Island winters we had just lived through, and seriously rivaling the spectacular Korean autumn we had experienced, such as Daedunsan or these other romantic spots to enjoy autumn in Korea.
Jeju Island’s Spring
Though Jeju Island is known for its beautiful summer scenery, such as this Hidden Beach, the accessible Iho Beach, or Sagye Beach with its view of Sanbangsan, but its spring scenery is also quite stunning. Jeju Island sees flowers blooming everywhere during this enchanting season of spring in Korea, and Korean cherry blossom flowers make some of the greatest impact. Koreans everywhere laud Jeju for its cherry blossoms, as its milder climate allows the island to bear some of the earliest blooms in the country. Special to Jeju are its stunning and large wild cherry blossoms, known as “wangbeotggot” (왕 벚꽃) or “large cherry blossom.”
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Cherry Blossoms on Jeju Island
A well-known highlight of spring in Korea in Jeju City is its annual cherry blossom festival, but blossoms flourish several places across the island (if festival are your thing, you’ll love this Cherry Blossom Festival Japan). Whether you’d prefer to wander beneath the blushing Korean cherry blossom buds in peace and quiet, or you’d rather enjoy the flowers as a backdrop for the spectacle of Korean and Chinese tourists, here are two places you can check out cherry blossoms in Jeju City if you’re lucky to spend spring in Korea on Jeju Island.
Spring in Korea: 2 Korean Cherry Blossom Sites in Jeju City, South Korea
- Jeju High School (제주고등학교)
Located just down the road from Halla Arboretum and up the hill from Halla University, Jeju High School tucks itself away in a quieter part of Jeju City. During the Korean cherry blossom season, the school’s trees stand in full bloom, peeking out the entrance to the school.
We happened upon the high school’s blossoms one beautiful early April day, while en route to the arboretum. They merited a closer look, and then we noticed the blossom-filled campus.
After entering the school’s gates, you quickly find yourself on a path enveloped by blossoms, and you’ll likely have it all to yourself.
You can follow this road down to the baseball field, where on the weekends there you can catch boys playing baseball, men smoking while exercising, and the sound of students practicing martial arts in nearby buildings.
You can walk through the baseball field to the other side, or follow the edge of the fence. Past the baseball field sits a little hill covered in picture-perfect fluffy blossoms. It would be a fantastic little local place on Jeju Island for a picnic (kimbap and banana milk, anyone?), enjoying the spring sunshine while watching boys playing baseball.
We enjoyed wandering around the campus, watching the adorable Korean toddlers chasing around bubbles from their mother’s bubble gun. Be quick with your camera, and it can be the perfect photo op beneath the stunning Korean cherry blossom trees.
While we didn’t stumble across too many people at the high school, we did find a few fellow camera-friendly wanderers, like this guy taking a picture of this girl taking a picture of a tree (and the other girl taking a selfie).
As Jeju High School is a working high school, you’ll have to go after school hours or on a weekend. We went on a weekend, and it was blissfully empty except for a few Koreans enjoying a humble day playing baseball and exercising near the Korean cherry blossom tunnels.
The school held only a handful of people strolling around the school to view the quaint blossoms, and it never felt crowded—unlike our next stop, Halla Arboretum.
- Halla Arboretum (한라수목원)
A well-known place on Jeju Island to view Korean cherry blossoms in Jeju City, Halla Arboretum can attract hoards of tour buses during this festive spring time. Dozens of cherry trees line the road to the arboretum, reaching their branches out to each other and covering the road with a beautiful fluffy canopy.
Love is certainly in the air during this spring time, and you’ll see tons of Korean couples walking hand-in-hand and enjoying the lifting of winter.
Join the many couples taking selfies in the street to get the perfect photo with the trees! You’ll have to time your photos in between the many cars and tour buses that you’ll probably encounter. Like many popular places in Korea, tour buses bring busloads of tourists. After dropping off their cargo, the buses park and wait in the road, which can spoil your pictures. To get around this, try your patience and wait for them to leave, or go earlier in the day before the buses arrive.
A cozy brick oven pizza joint known as Bosco (보스코) stands along the blossom-filled path to the arboretum. Starving, we nestled into the restaurant and split a margherita pizza, thin-crust (which is generally what we’ve come across in Korea) for ₩16,000 (about $14 USD). Rather than fresh basil leaves, the pizza comes topped with a basil sauce (common here in Korea) and it’s pretty tasty!
Packed to the gills with tourists, Halla Arboretum also packs it in with trees and plants that gorgeously come into bloom in spring. You’ll find more cherry trees here than at Jeju High School, but you’ll have to battle it out with the other visitors to get the best pictures. You can find a cool little temple off the road of the Arboretum as well with a few Korean cherry blossom trees, if you happen to see it on the right while you walk.
If you find yourself in the neighborhood of Halla University in Shin Jeju of Jeju City, the Arboretum is worth a visit—and here’s a plus: it’s free! Also, Halla Arboretum will probably be less crowded during the week, as most people will be at work or at school.
Spring transforms Jeju from a cold, gray island to a vibrant, floral dreamscape. How better to shake off those Jeju winter blues than relishing in the awakening blooms of the cherry blossoms? Of course, there are also many other places to see stunning blossoms, such as Jeju National University or Noksan-ro, but the sites we’ve written about are just a few places to catch them in our ‘hood. No matter what, if you’re lucky enough to be in Jeju during Korean cherry blossom time, you’re in for a treat! There’s no better way to enjoy the beautiful spring season than spending the day walking under stunning blossoms, perhaps following a hike up Hallasan or a wander through the O’sulloc green tea fields!
To get to Jeju High School (제주고등학교): take the 100 or 90 bus to the Jeju High School stop. Walk up the hill towards the green driving range net, and the school will be a few minutes uphill from there. Enter through the gates, and wander at your leisure.
To get to Halla Arboretum (한라수목원): take the 90 bus and get off at the last stop, Halla Arboretum. Then, walk down the road to the arboretum. If you’re coming from the Jeju High School entrance, keep walking up the hill for about 5 minutes, and turn left at Sumogwon-gil (수목원길). Just keep going straight and the arboretum is at the end!
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Have you had the chance to enjoy spring in Korea?
Tell us about it below! And if you’ll be elsewhere in Korea during this spring time, you might want to head over to Jinhae’s Cherry Blossom Festival!