What comes to your mind when you hear the words “Jade Garden”? Something peaceful, quiet and resembling heaven as it is portrayed in the mainstream media? Well, Jade Garden in Chuncheon is a good depiction of that!
JadGarden Natural Arboretum is a European style arboretum located in the middle of a valley and surrounded by the breathtaking mountains of Gangwon province! Its official theme is “Little Europe in the middle of the forest” and it definitely feels like it! You can feel the sense of Europe as soon as you step onto its grounds at the entrance.
Differently from other Europe themed parks and villages in Korea, Jade Garden has more of a natural feel to it and it is not related to the amount of the greenery in the garden, but to its’ architecture. It does not feel cringy and makes you feel like you have traveled out of Korea for a moment.
We have visited Jade garden just a few weeks ago and it was a blast!
The easiest and most convenient way to go there from Seoul is going to Gulbongsan Station (Gyeongchun line) and taking a free of charge shuttle bus, that would bring you to the entrance of Jade Garden. To go to Gulbongsan station you can either use ITX or a regular subway, therefore we chose the latter as it is the cheaper option for us and it is easier to find it coming from Seoul.
There are 24 different themed areas in the garden and each has a different feel to it? From moss to tropical greenhouses, you can find anything there! Our favorite was definitely a water garden as one could never get tired of looking at the running water and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
There are also many fun activities for children. They include witches’ hut, human-sized maze and grass sculptures that remind either a horse or a dinosaur. While the younger audience would enjoy running around and playing in nature, older visitors could take their time enjoying a cup of coffee while admiring valley water running down the mountain.
In addition to that, Jade Garden can also be considered a hikers paradise, as even though it is a private garden, which is being taken good care of, it still includes many hills and rock, where you can get lost in the deep greenery landscape. I saw quite a bit older people wearing their hiking gear and getting that refreshing breeze of the fresh air since Chuncheon has much better pollution levels than Seoul and you could actually feel like you can finally breathe!
Even though we did not try this option out, I have heard that there is also a gardening program being held in one of the buildings, where uprising gardeners and enthusiasts can learn gardening skills from the parks’ caretakers.
We went mid-autumn, so I totally enjoyed our visit in the daytime, but if you happen to be in Korea during wintertime, I would recommend coming for their after-sunset program as then the garden lights up with gorgeous colors and it looks like a Christmas fairy-tale.
In conclusion, I would recommend Jade Garden to those, who want to take a rest from the busy city life and get closer to nature. In some foresty areas, you can even feel as if you were all alone in the park! Therefore, if you like being busy and active as you go, it might a little bit too laid back for you!
Take your most comfortable shoes and clothing that makes it easy for you to move around! Don’t forget the good mood and obviously, your camera!