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.