Samcheongdong: The Right Mix of Tradition, Culture, Architecture, and Art

Written by Joanne

September 2012Culture

As you walk along Samcheongdong’s streets, you will notice Seoul’s strong foundation of art on the walls, in the galleries, when you taste the food, and see the buildings.  Samcheongdong is a small, quaint neighborhood right beside Insadong and is surprisingly not frequented by many foreigners.  As a result, you can truly appreciate the area’s charm without any distractions.

One of the best things to do in Samcheongdong, especially if you are ... (Read More)

Bindae-ddeok and Traditional Markets

Written by Joanne

August 2012Culture

picture source: Seoul Korea's Flickr

 

Bindae-ddeok and Traditional Markets

Korea’s traditional markets are an exciting contrast to the modernity that permeates the city.  Ask any tourist who has been to Korea about the one thing that sticks out on their trip here, most likely the answer will be “the markets” which perfectly symbolize what Korea is today; modern but traditional, busy, colorful, unique, and diverse.  At the market, you will see charming elders selling ... (Read More)

Eye of Shinjuku

Written by Sarah

August 2012Culture

Image source: flickr

This is an artwork installed in Shinjuku station, Japan. It is distorted by a special lens yet the real feature is rather flat. At first it might be feeling awkward and queer but you can be accustomed to it when you see the feature in daily life. Even Japanese people regard this big eye as an meeting place.

A Grand Palace

Written by Admin

August 2012Culture

 

There are five "Grand Palaces" that belonged to the Joseon dynasty in Korea, and Changdeokgung is one of them. Despite being once damaged during the occupation of Japan, much of it has been restored to it's traditional beauty.

Belonging to many generations of royal family, there are certain areas in the government complex designated for the royal king and queen. The king's surroundings are especially fortified by numerous layers to prevent an attack by an ... (Read More)

Before Stars Are Born

Written by Admin

August 2012Entertainment

Korea's streets are filled with famous  Kpop stars, music, films, and advertisements. Hongdae on the other hand, is one of the few places where independent artists get a chance to show themselves in ways that most popular music genres don't embrace.



That's why if you walk down the Hongdae neighborhood at night, you can spot street performances from all sorts of young musicians and college students looking to make themselves known, even if for just ... (Read More)

Gundam Front Tokyo

Written by Victoria

August 2012Culture

 

Fan of anime and manga? Are you especially fond of the action series Gundam? Then of course Japan has the right place for you!

All started out with a giant Gundam statue exhibited on the Odaiba ocean front. Later on this year, Bandai Co. rolled out a full scale museum, exhibition and retail space solely dedicated to one of its most popular anime series, Gundam, the Gundam Front Tokyo. The museum boasts life-sized replicates taken ... (Read More)

Experience Japanese Movies

Written by Victoria

August 2012Entertainment

 

Old samurai movies from Japan’s feudal past are nostalgia inducing to Japanese and a special cinematographic gem for everyone else. Fascinating in story-telling and background setting, it is no wonder that old Japanese costume movies have gained in popularity as insider tips among movie fans. Now, there is also the opportunity to experience and learn more about them in the Toei Eiga Mura!

The Toei Eiga Mura, or Toei Movie Land in English, is an ... (Read More)

Japanese Luxury Burgers

Written by Victoria

August 2012Culture

Picture by Wendy's

 

The classic burger gets a make-over.

After retreating from the Japanese market in 2009, the American fast food chain Wendy’s has returned and this time around offers something more than your usual burger.

Topped with luxurious ingredients like lobster and caviar, Wendy’s Lobster Surf & Turf Burger and the Premium Caviar & Lobster Sandwich are to be available for a limited time at select Tokyo locations among them the soon to be ... (Read More)

Model for a Day

Written by Victoria

August 2012Culture

 

In Japan, street style photography is not only a thing for the blogs. Popularized as a real profession starting with Shoichi Aoki, who created the legendary Japanese street style magazine Fruits, street style pictures in Japanese fashion magazines demonstrating what is hip and trendy in Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka are as important as carefully planned and organized fashion editorials.

Walking around in Harajuku in particular it is not rare to stumble across one person pointing ... (Read More)

Karaoke for the lonely

Written by Victoria

August 2012Entertainment

 

Karaoke is a popular pastime in Japan as well as in Korea. Frequented by young and old alike, singing your heart out to the instrumental version of widely known pop songs aided by the display of the lyrics on a screen in front of you, Karaoke or Noraebang in Korean is the preferred way of relieving stress and enjoying a fun time with your peers or the people from work.

In this vein, the social ... (Read More)

Mobile Communication Advertisements

Written by Sarah

July 2012Business

Since Korea is a hot place for mobile devices, competition for such services is getting stronger day by day. As the age of smartphones is on its way, it is needless to say that wireless internet service competition is more fierce than any other time.

It was only last year that everybody was advertising about Wi-Fi. KT, one of three big mobile companies, was demonstrating their wide range of internet service coverage by making a commercial ... (Read More)

Eating on the River – Yakatabune, Japanese Cruise

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

Do you want a special experience in the hot summer? Tired of your daily life? Want to have a really memorable dinner? Then you have to visit Japan with us and take this cruise.

We provide a cultural service called yakatabune. It is a pleasent break from a tired life, offering a fine quality dinner on a cruise in the river. Peering over the beautiful scene outside, people can enjoy ... (Read More)

DMZ(Demilitarized Zone)

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

Image source: flickr

2 kilometers for each side, centered with military demarcation line(MDL), Korea has a demilitarized zone. It has been a place for national security, so naturally people might think of it as a place of war that is highly dangerous.

However, that is far from the truth. It is a place built for security, protected by all the military service men and women for over 60 ... (Read More)

The Origins of Bibimbab

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

Image source: flickr

This is a Korean dish called bibimbab. You can put rice, fried egg, meat, and any vegetables you want. There is variance but usually restaurant hosts put some bean sprouts, spinach, ground meat and vegetables. As it is delicious, highly healthy, and aesthetically pretty, it has been recommended to foreigner’s for a long time. Every ingredient is ready to be eaten, and all we have to do is ... (Read More)

North Korean Dancing Girl

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

Image source: flickr

This is a picture of a girl from North-Korea dancing in her pretty Hanbok, a traditional Korean dress. Details about the story are not known, yet the face of the girl is highly impressive.

What she is wearing, a jacket with sleeves of multicolored stripes, is called "saekdong jeogori", meaning simply, a "colorful jacket". It is mostly worn by little girls as the garment itself indicates ... (Read More)

Hanbok

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

Image source: flickr

This is a traditional Korean dress called "hanbok" for women. The skirt is long enough to look like any other modern dress while the jacket is really short. The whole atmosphere of the traditional Korean dress is simple and elegant.

While different in details depending on social class, traditional Korean female clothes all share the same basics which are roughly the jacket and skirt. The jacket in ... (Read More)

Dinner Over the River

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

Image source: flickr

This picture shows people enjoying their meal right over the river. It is in the middle of a hot summer but it seems really ‘cool’.

What we see here is called ‘Kawadoko’, meaning river bank in Japanese, where people can enjoy delicious Kyoto cuisine on a table set over a river. The concept originates from a long time ago from a region in Japan that was too ... (Read More)

Japanese Sweets

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

Called “Youkan” in Japan and “Yangang” in Korea, these colorful little things are traditional Asian red bean jelly sweets. Made from agar, a jelly material similar with gelatin but with 0 calories, these Asian sweets are really popular with everyone. People love it with a cup of tea or as presents for special occasions thanks to their charming appearance.

Especially in Japan, there are literally thousands of pretty Youkan. Typical ... (Read More)

Modern Japanese Literature

Written by Victoria

July 2012Culture

photo source: flickr

 

There is more to modern Japanese literature than Haruki Murakami.

While Haruki Murakami's novels have taken the world by storm with good right, Japan has always churned out world class literature before his time already. Take 'The Tales of Genji' from the early 11th century, for example! Did you know that it is handled as the world's very first novel ever? Other famous Japanese writers include Natsume Soseki, ... (Read More)

Korean Ramen – Typical food item for Korean citizen

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

The red noodles in the picture above are Korean instant cup ramen, a delicacy for everybody.

Korean Ramen, known for its hot and salty taste, is definitely something special to Koreans. There are many variations and flavors, ranging from refreshing, cool noodles, to extremely hot and spicy ones.  New brands enter the market every year, and some of these new items become the talk of the town. Korean ramen has ... (Read More)

Direction Signs in Bukchon Village

Written by Sarah

July 2012Culture

 

The picture above shows a road sign pointing to several directions in Bukchon Village. The top blue road sign notes our current position, while the others are pointing at the locations of museums or galleries.

You cannot see it in the picture, but Bukchon Village is full of Korean traditional houses, or "hanok".  This hanoks are not only used for living quarters but as galleries, museums, and tea houses as ... (Read More)