Jogyesa Chrysanthemum Festival

Seoul doesn’t run out of festivals to offer to its local and international tourists. Sometimes there are multiple festivals happening at the same time that it’s just impossible to visit all of them. Since winter is near and I wouldn’t want to go out during that time, I’m trying to chase every event I could go to. Like the “Jogyesa Chrysanthemum Festival” that is held yearly at the temple.
Jogyesa is a Buddhist temple located in central Seoul. It is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. It is not as big a temple like Bongeunsa. It is not a very old structure either. It is also surrounded by a lot of buildings ~ so it is not as quiet as I’d expect a temple to be. It does have its advantage for being accessible ~ as it sits right in the middle of downtown.
The temple is most famous for being the center of the Seoul Lantern Parade which is held every year a few days before the celebration of Buddha’s birthday. Then in autumn, Jogyesa holds the Chrysanthemum Festival and they showcase the flower in fun and interesting displays. I remember when they had an elephant dressed in chrysanthemum from a few years ago. They don’t have it this year, instead the guests are welcomed at the main gate by the two dragons.

Main gate of Jogyesa from the inside ~
Main gate of Jogyesa from the inside ~

This year, the chrysanthemum of different colors are arranged in a maze ~ just a bit of fun before reaching the temple building. They also used characters that look familiar in pop culture.

It doesn’t take a long time to see all the displays in the temple. About 20 minutes will do ~ and visitors could proceed to other interesting areas in the neighborhood. Insadong is only a 3-minute walk away. Gyeongbokgung is 5 minutes while Samcheondong and Bukcheon takes about 10 minutes by foot. Jogyesa makes a nice starting point on any tour day.
Inside Jogyesa ~
Inside Jogyesa ~

To get there:
– Angguk Station exit 6 (line 3)
– Jonggak Station exit 2 (line 1)