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It’s raining as I write and I’m sure the cherry blossoms have all fallen by now.  I was glad to have had two opportunities to see the cherry blossoms this year, so here are some photos from Ansan in the Seo-dae-mun-gu area of Seoul.

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I was blown away to see the valley completely covered in cherry blossoms! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many cherry blossom trees in one place before. I’m surprised the location isn’t very well-known. I will definitely be returning here next year!

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Cherry blossoms just make me feel so happy! They make the world feel brighter and prettier and even when they fall it’s like snow only without the cold weather to go with it. People talk about getting back to nature for a healing experience, and I think cherry blossoms arrive just at the right time in the year to cheer you up after a long cold winter. I think they’re an instant mood-booster and have this sort of natural beauty that can’t be man-made.

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There was a small event of sorts showcasing traditional Korean music called Sa-mul-nori. The men have ribbon streamers on their hats which are choreographed along with the music.

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At the foot of the mountain there was a water wheel (called mool-leh-bahng-ah) and a stone path over the small river to the other side.

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There were still a lot of dry patches along the mountain but you can see that entire middle section just full of cherry blossoms. It was a nice to look back and see the cherry blossoms nested in the valley.I think I might come back when everything is green as I’m sure it’ll look beautiful then as well. Does your area have any cherry blossom hot spots?

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Last year I had went to Sok-chon Lake up in Seoul to see the cherry blossoms and had such a lovely time that I was happy to revisit the place again this year. This time I went on the day that the blossoms were expected to be in full bloom and was enchanted by the snowy flowers that formed a canopy along the walkway around the lake.

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At the center of the lake is the amusement park called Lotte World, and I haven’t been there since I was in middle school. Back then everything was indoors so I wonder when they built the outdoor part of the amusement park. To be honest, when I was younger I preferred Everland (another amusement park in Korea) to Lotte World, but maybe the outdoor rides will change my mind. I’ll have to see some time.

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It seemed to be the most crowded between noon till 3pm but by 4pm there was a bit of breathing space. It’s much more enjoyable when you’re not getting swept along by a crowd. I’d still say it’s worth going even if there is a crowd as they’re such a beautiful part of spring and they only last a short while.

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The tricky thing about taking photos of cherry blossoms is that it’s really easy for them to get blown out or sort of shadowed if they’re forming a canopy under the sun. So I find it challenging to capture that airy bright feeling sometimes. Of course it’s always wise to pick an angle that has optimal lighting, but part of the fun of taking pictures of cherry blossoms is finding a sweep of flowers that you want to frame.

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Sometimes you might want to capture the lofty feeling of tree completely covered in cherry blossoms.

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Other times you may want to capture the small bouquets of cherry blossoms nested in the branches.

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I also like to capture them in an almost veil-like pattern and it was particularly pretty when it hung over the lake. It was a shame to see all the tall buildings around, but I suppose that can’t be helped in the midst of Seoul.

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I love how the branches sweep upward in a delicate curve! It just shapes the cherry blossoms in such a lovely way. I just felt so happy walking under the cherry blossoms and wished they would last longer. Alas, it has been raining non stop since Monday so they’ve probably fallen a bit by now.

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Do you like to enjoy the cherry blossoms in the spring?

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Do you have anything you look forward to every year? I  always look forward to the cherry blossoms come spring. They remind me of when I was living in Seattle and the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. The cherry blossoms seem to announce the beginning of spring after a long harsh winter. It’s so nice to be able to put away the heavy winter coats for lighter jackets, and walk outside without freezing to death.

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It’s also nice to have a yearly tradition of sorts to make time to go out and enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms and really feel alive. I spend so much of my life in the city that it’s almost necessary to consciously carve out time to enjoy nature. Do you have any “spring traditions” you enjoy?