Tag Archives: Spring

Chunghyo-dong Events Festivals photography tips for tourists

Photos: Cherry Blossom (벚꽃) Tunnel 2012

Cherry Blossom Tunnel, Gyeongju 2012

Cherry Blossom Tunnel, Gyeongju 2012

It seems the long awaited blooming of the cherry blossoms (벚꽃) is starting to reach its peak.  Of course, this means next weekend Gyeongju and Bomun Resort will be flooded with tourists, so I’d suggest staying off the roads around here, if at all possible.  However, one stretch of road worth braving the traffic jams for is the lane leading up to General Kim Yu-shin’s tomb.    I’ve heard locals refer to this road as the “cherry blossom tunnel,” for reasons that I hope are obvious.  Thankfully a few years back the city managed to widen this road, which takes pressure off the traffic and leaves a lot more room for a street vendors and strolling tourists. (It was kind of hard to enjoy the cherry blossoms while worrying about losing a limb to passing cars at the same time.)  I had some spare time between classes this afternoon and decided to check out the scene before it got too crazy with the weekend tourists.  Of course, I had my new Nikon DSLR along to play with, so here are some of the better photos I shot.  The weather was perfect, but for the wind, and there were still enough folks around to give the place quite a festive atmosphere.  The cross-dressing, trote-singing clown from Incheon helped to spice up the atmosphere a bit too (pictures not included.)  Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the photos and if you’re looking for suggestions on other places around town to frolic amongst the cherry flowers, I’ve posted tips previously both here and here.

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Events Festivals Gyeongju Hotels and housing Korean culture Music & dance News tips for tourists

2012 Spring Events: Cherry Blossoms, Miso II, Concerts and More

Cherry Blossoms at Night, Gyeongju

Cherry Blossoms at Night, Gyeongju

I’ll skip my usually apologies to my regular readers for not posting in over almost month.  Suffice to say, I’ve been swept up in the usual start-of-semester whirlwind lately.  Thankfully things are finally settling into a routine and with spring at our door step, there are a few things to catch up on. For starters, cherry blossom season is close upon us again. If you’re planning to frolic among the flowers this year, the Korean Tourism Organization has recently released its predictions for the blossoming dates and peak times for 2012. It looks like the cherries here in Gyeongju will begin blooming around April 2nd and will be at their peak between April 11th and the 20th, so mark your calendars.  And if you’re looking tips on places in town to check out the cherry blossoms,  I’ve posted suggestions in years past on the best spots for the blossoms. read more »

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Events Festivals Gyeongju Sites to see tips for tourists

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms (벚꽃) 2011

Cherry Blossoms, Road to Kim Yu-shin's Tomb, Gyeongju

Cherry Blossoms, Road to Kim Yu-shin's Tomb, Gyeongju

I have to apologize to the regular readers of this blog (if indeed they exist beyond my lovely wife ;-)) for being slack in posting lately.  I had not one, but two, presentations to prepare for my masters program this last week.  As my creative efforts have been going elsewhere, I don’t actually have any articles ready to post atm.  However this year’s cherry blossoms are in full bloom and I did get out recently for some family photos among the blossoms. read more »

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Events Festivals Food & drink Gyeongju holidays Music & dance tips for tourists

2011 Spring Events: Cherry Blossoms, Marathon, Liquor Festival, Martial Arts and More

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms

It’s finally beginning to feel a bit like spring around Gyeongju, which means we’re just days away from that magical season when the cherry trees begin to bud and then blossom.  Entire streets in Gyeongju turn into marshmallow wonderlands and romantic couples stroll through flurries of pink petals.  I already posted last spring on some of the best places in town to check out the cherry blossoms, like at Kim Yu-shin’s tomb and the ruins of Banwolseong fortress, so I won’t repeat myself here.  Korea’s wizards of meteorology have gazed into their crystal balls and have predicted Gyeongju’s cherry flowers (벚꽃)  will begin blossoming between now and April 8th and that the peak season this year should be April 6th – 15th. read more »

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Gyeongju Namsan-dong Other Sites to see tips for tourists

Off the Beaten Path: The Gyeongsangbukdo Botanical Gardens (경상북도산림환경연구소)

Bonsai Tree, Botanical Gardens, Gyeongju

Bonsai Tree, Botanical Gardens, Gyeongju

In the eastern shadow of Mt. Namsan (남산), just a few minutes up the road from Tongiljeon Shrine (통일전), is one of the more unique tourist attractions in the area:  the Gyeongsangbuk-do Botanical Gardens (경상북도산림환경연구소).  Even though it has nothing to do with ancient tombs, stone Buddhas or the Shilla Dynasty, the Botanical Gardens are well worth a taking a few hours to explore.  With over 100 acres of woodlands, trails and gardens, it’s a great spot for a romantic walk or an afternoon picnic.  And if you’re traveling with kids, it’s the perfect place for them to run around and get some energy out.  It’s got enough curious attractions that they won’t get bored either. read more »

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Buddhist culture Festivals Gyeongju holidays

Dongguk University Lantern Lighting: 2010 Highlights

Samulnori Dancers, Dongguk University Gyeongju

Samulnori Dancers, Dongguk University Gyeongju

I mentioned a few weeks ago Dongguk University held it’s lantern-lighting ceremony in honor of Buddha’s Birthday on April 29th.  As it turned out, the 29th was also declared a National Day or Mourning in honor of the 46 sailors who died in the sinking of the “Cheonan” on March 26th. Unfortunately this meant all celebrations had to be canceled or seriously toned down out of respect for the solemnity of the occasion.   The ceremony still went on, but without the usual festive barrage of balloons, lanterns and fireworks. read more »

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Buddhist culture Gyeongju Sites to see Temples & shrines

Pear Flowers (배 꽃) & Bokwonsa Temple (복원사)

Pear Flowers of Nae Tae Village, Gyeongju

Pear Flowers of Nae Tae Village, Gyeongju

The other Sunday the sun was finally shining after a solid week of rain.  My wife and I hopped in the car and took off to explore the countryside determined to enjoy some of the hard-earned Spring weather.   As luck would have it, we drifted back some country roads going west out of town, and found ourselves in a remote farming valley in the shadow of Mt. Eorimsan (어림산). read more »

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Special Events for Buddha’s Birthday (석가탄신일): Friday, May 21st

Coming up in about a week and a half is my absolute favorite holiday in Korea: Seokga Tanshinil (석가탄신일), or Buddha’s Birthday.   Every temple in Korea celebrates Buddha’s Birthday one way or another.  Most hang lanterns, have special ceremonies and serve a special group lunch or dinner for parishioners.  A few of the larger or more historically important temples will host special musical performances or hold a lantern parade in the evening, just after sun down.

This year, Seokga Tanshinil falls on Friday, May 21st.  In Gyeongju, there are 3 particularly special events that happen for Buddha’s Birthday that shouldn’t be missed.  If you’ve got a car, or you’re adventurous with public transit, you could easily hit all 3: read more »

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Buddhist culture Festivals Gyeongju holidays tips for tourists

Dongguk Lantern Lighting Ceremony: Thursday, April 29th

Dongguk University Lantern Parade 2009

Dongguk University Lantern Parade 2009

We’re almost to the end of April which means we’re just a month away from my favorite Korean Holiday: Buddha’s Birthday, or Seokgatanssinil (석가탄신일). This year Buddha’s Birthday falls on Friday, May 21st and all of the temples around town are getting ready to hang their lanterns.  As a Buddhist school, Dongguk University is preparing for its annual lantern-lighting ceremony this Thursday evening, April 29th.  It’s open to the public, so if you’re local or passing through town this Thursday, you should definitely come down and check it out.  I went last year and it was pretty cool.  read more »

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More Gyeongju 2010 Liquor & Ddeok Festival (경주술과떡잔치)

 

2010 Liquor and Ddeok Festival, Gyeongju

2010 Liquor and Ddeok Festival, Gyeongju

It’s Thursday morning which means that we’re down to the final day of the Gyeongju Liquor & Ddeok Festival (경주술과떡잔치) in Hwangseong Park. Unfortunately I missed the Festival’s kickoff Saturday, though I hear it was packed with people and the weather was gorgeous.  By the time I got down there on Monday, this week-long bout of dreary weather had already set in.  read more »

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