Spring in Seoul isn’t so much a season unto itself as it is a transitory and ephemeral passage of time between winter and summer. The only thing certain about spring is that it will not last. But while the weather is cool and the sun is warm, exploring Seoul and enjoying the city is a must. Right now the cherry blossoms are long gone with nearly a year left until their return, but I was lucky enough to get out of the house and spend an hour or two wandering the streets of Yeoido with my girlfriend.
We made a bee-line straight for the National Assembly Building on the No. 9 line. It’s a gathering point in the spring and the site of one of the largest cherry blossom festivals in Seoul. The actual dates for the festival are themselves mercurial and tend to change from year to year. Usually they get announced on television programs and websites a week or two ahead of their dates but we were looking to beat the crowds for a small private shoot. We judged the chance of full blossoms by looking at the cherry blossoms in front of our house and took a chance on a cool Saturday morning hoping for the best.
What we got was a mix of half blossomed trees and mostly blossomed trees. The festival got announced for the next weekend, though, so we were happy to have the street mostly to ourselves. What followed was a pleasant one hour walk along the street with minimal cars and foot traffic. Exactly what we’d been hoping for and, amazingly, something that showed up well on camera.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve attempted to beat the crowds to Yeoido for the cherry blossoms. Last year we made a trip and ended up visiting the area smack-dab in the middle of the festival. Suffice to say, we didn’t get many shots worth using that time. Next time I’m hoping to head out of Seoul to more exotic locales like Chuncheong or maybe even Tokyo depending on timing. Regardless, this year was definitely a great experience.