In early days, it was all about holding a memorial service at Bukwon Rotary, where Admiral Yi’s statue is located but was hosted as ‘Jinhae Gunhangje Festival’ in 1963, memorializing Admiral Yi’s legacy and patriotism and promoting local culture and arts, and has become a representative spring festival where visitors can enjoy various culture and art events, the world’s military bands and honor guards, local markets with beautiful cherry blossom, after years of growth and development. Now it is one of the most representative festival in the country with a long history and tradition and is enjoyed by more than 2 million visitors at home and aborad during the festival period.
In March of the lunar month, springtime picnickers gather at a military port city with a quite sea where the country’s best cherry blossom festival, Jinhae Gunhangje Festival is held. When 360,000 cherry blossom trees bloom at the same time, the area presents a magnificent spectacle where people busy taking photos under flower rains to make memories of spring days and people savoring spring’s feast make harmony with each other.
Events to be held during Jinhae Gunhangje Festival include memorial events commemorating Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s legacy at Bukwon Rotary such as a tea offering and flower laying event for Admiral Yi, a memorial service and victory parade, and themed events on cherry blossom, an eve festival at Jungwon Rotary, local markets, culture and art performance. Furthermore, the Military Band and Honor Guard Festival, which emphasizes the military port city’s traits, is held on Fridays and weekends during the Gunhangje period and is a military art performance integrating military bands and honor guards, presenting powerful marching performances by military bands and discipline presentations by honor guards in great military uniforms, which is offered only at Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival.
Naval Academy and Jinhae Naval Base Command are must-visit during the festival since they are not allowed public visits in normal situations. At Naval Academy, the general public can enjoy various experiences, including visit to the Naval Academy Museum and Turtle Ship, battleships, photo exhibitions, naval uniforms, a yacht cruise as well as see the country’s naval base and savor beautiful flowering cherry trees that are over 100 years old.
Famous cherry blossom spots include Jinhae NFRDI Environment Eco-Park, Yeojwacheon Stream, Kyungwha Station, Jinhae Tower, and Jinhaeru, which are also must-visit. When looking down the city on a Jewhangsan monorail at the top of Jinhae Tower, there are a wide land stretching across west and east, folding screen-like mountains and a quite sea. Visitors can see a neat and peaceful city where modern and contemporary times are present together with Jungwon Rotary at the center, buildings over 100 years and 360,000 cherry blossom trees.
There are three rotaries at the city center in Jinhae-gu, which are Jungwon, Bukwon and Namwon Rotaries. With each rotary at the start point, roads stretch in eight directions. There are modern cultural assets at each stress on Jungwon Rotary, including building that were built more than 100 years ago, such as Jinhae Post Office, Sunhak Gomgtang Restaurant, Black and White Coffee House, Younghaeru, and Pointed House. The place to visit after time travel of eight streets on Jungwon Rotary is Jinhae Naval Port Town History Museum, where visitors can see photos of military port development, which started in 1902 and photos of old town and hear stories, being attracted to another charm hosted in cherry blossom in Jinhae.