Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival

UPDATE: To see my post about the 2010 Cherry Blossom Festival, click here.

The Japanese have been giving cherry trees to other countries, it seems, for a hundred years. A few thousand line the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, and about 1400 can be found lining Yunjungno, an avenue near the National Assembly building on Yeouido in Seoul.

Above is a photo of the lovely Hwang family at the entrance to the avenue, taken this evening during a visit to the Cherry Blossom Festival. In addition to the cherry trees, the festival consists of an installation of art from around the world, apparently on a 'branches and flowers' theme. There is also a slate of performances each day. The walk to Yunjungno from the subway was crowded with people and, of course, street vendors and their pojangmacha. The guy below is selling silkworm larva. Notice that they appear to be erupting--more lava than larva.

There was a lot of art; below are a few samples:

This was my favorite piece, bunches of flowers wearing blue jeans. The next photo shows Mrs. Hwang talking to the artist, but no one could really translate for me what the work seemed to be about:

There was a sketch artist doing portraits:

And there was this huge ox seemingly made out of moss (of course, I'm not really touching it):

And finally, there were cherry blossoms. They were striking at night, but hard to really capture in the camera, so perhaps I shall return to take some shots in the daytime. The festival lasts until April 18.


Tanner Brown said...

You are the cherry blossom of my eye.

By PhoenixStorm said...

Nice pics of the festival. I went down there to bike ride and was pleasantly surprised. Yeouido rocks.

Tuttle said...

Yeouido is a'ight by me. Did you notice the cost of bike rental wnet up for the Festival? It was 2000 won per hour in February, 3000 now. As Mr Hwang pointed out when I pointed it out, "an increase by 50%!"

Dude got to make some money somehow--and I should mention that increase is actually less than one dollar US.

A student said...

Actually, the type of cherry blossom trees (Prunus yedoensis; Wang-but-kott-namu in Korean) found in Yeouido and Washington DC originated from Korea. They are indigenous to a small part of Jeju island only. (No natural habit elsewhere in the world, including Japan.)