In 2019, I visited Seoul to see Jung Il woo in his Fan Meeting. I also had the delight to visit many other areas… after all this with Covid 19, I’m so thankful that I went! The many memories of this trip continue to sooth my wanderlust need, and inspire me! For more on this trip, go HERE. Now let’s visit this area that is often frequented by our beloved oppa!
I went to this area of Seoul to see the main Cathedral of South Korea and to check out the shopping scene. I had heard so much of this area through dramas and Jung Il woo. What I did not expect was that I would run into a whole cartoon area called Zaemiro (재미로) or Cartoon Street… this turned out to be what I enjoyed the most.
Seoul’s Main Cathedral…the Myeongdong Cathedral.
I have this tradition of visiting the main cathedral or church wherever I travel to. It is one of the ways that I thank God for blessing me with the trip… and boy did I have a lot to be thankful for. When I visited this cathedral I did not know that this was Ilwoo’s church! I later found out that he actually attends mass there! So now my memory of this place is even more special… his beautiful energy has been there… who knows maybe I sat where he last had sat… ! ^ ^
According to the Cathedral’s official website:
- “Myeong-dong Cathedral, situated in the heart of downtown Seoul, is both the Cathedral Church for the Archdiocese of Seoul and has become a symbol of the presence of the Catholic Church in Korea.
- In 1784, the first (Christian) faith community in Korea gathered in this place which was then known as Myeong-Nae-Bang.
In 1894, Father Coste began planning for the construction of the church, and on May 29, 1898, the Church was consecrated with Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as its patron.
In 1900 the relics of the martyrs who had died in the persecutions of 1839 and 1866 were moved from Yong-San seminary to the crypt in Myeong-dong Cathedral.
In 1942 the first Korean parish priest, Fr. Rhee Ki-Jun, was appointed pastor of Myeong-dong, and the first Korean Bishop Rho Ki-Nam was raised to the episcopate there.
- On Liberation Day, 1945, the name of the Cathedral was changed from Chong-Hyen to Myeong-dong. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Myeong-dong Cathedral became a focal point for the democratic movement in Korea and has played an important role in the expansion of human rights.
- Currently, Myeong-dong Cathedral continues to reach out to the global community with prayer and missionary work. Myeong-dong Cathedral is the first brick church in Korea built in the Gothic style. Designated historic spot No. 258, the Myeong-dong Church has significant historical value embedded in its architecture. The floor plan of the church is Latin cross with a center and two side aisles, and the roof of the church is 23 meters in height. The bell tower is 45 meters tall. The architecture retains the pure Gothic style without adornments.”
I loved how elegant it was with those gorgeous gothic arches! Yes, there was a mass taking place…
Here is another place I missed. There is a museum about the origin of the cathedral and Catholicism in Korea! It’s called “The Seoul Archdiocese History Hall” or (사도회관). There is a naver blog about someone who visited it HERE . You can even see the ruins of the first church there! It is a very holy place.
And here is Ilwoo last fall in front of the Cathedral:
Venturing on, Myeondong is one of the large shopping areas in Seoul. It had all the looks of any shopping area in the world: lots of signs and stores… and Starbucks! ^ ^ One thing that I will say that impacted me about Seoul in general, was the amount of signs everywhere! It had so many!!! Sometimes, they were going up the buildings. For example:
It was so contrasting compared to the city where I live. Boston, MA does not have billboards except for one that is historic (the CITGO billboard which I love because it’s a Venezuelan oil company (I was born in Venezuela) and there are no signs on buildings, except at the bottom where the store would be at street level. Some of this is due to the fact that many buildings are historic… so there are very strict rules about even the color the doors!
Of course I looked for Ilwoo… they didn’t have anything of him… 🙁
(I went a little cosmetic crazy at that store!… I still have stuff from it …! I wish I had more time… I have takne photos of some of the items I bought… like a rose toothpaste! It tastes like roses… incredible!)
There is a video coming up that will make you feel you are there… see if you can spot this really cool sign in it:
And… WOOw! Look what was here…Haechi!!!
Yes… of course I remembered Oppa when he endorsed this brand… with the music group “Sistar.” I use a night cream from this store. It’s so good. It’s called Good Cera.
This is a version I had not seen of this commercial!
If you want to see more of this endorsement head HERE.
And when he visited Malaysia for a Holika Holika event there:
Well.. back to Myeongdong… !
I also saw this amazing ice cream stand where they mad ice cream in the shape of roses!
Our dear Oppa was in Myeongdong in another opportunity as a celebrity and cause quite a scene! This was back in 2007, when there was a Hug event for his appearance in his second movie: My Love! Yes! You got to hug him!!! Imagine that…! These are a few photos:
For more about this event go HERE.
After I headed back to the main road and I noticed these big plastic cartoon characters on a little square. I decided to get closer to take some photos when I noticed a map … to an area called Zaemiro, a cartoon street!!!
This reminded me of… Ilwoo as Cha Chi-soo! Remember when the little girl gave him her Pororo towel because he was cold in Flower Boy Ramen Shop? Then when he wore it in his bedroom? ^ ^ Pororo the penguin, is one of South Korea’s most famous cartoon characters.
I had so much fun creating graphics/cartoons of Ilwoo for his birthday, that when I was thinking of this post I knew I’d want to do the same especially for this area of the Zaemiro, or cartoon street. So you’ll see my comic creations of Ilwoo sprinkled within…
Reading up about it a bit more I found out that Zaemiro or Cartoon Street, “the street of manhwa”, was opened in December 2013 by Seoul’s city government to promote the “imaginative industry” and boost tourism and the local economy.
“The major sights added to the .28-mile street include five small parks or manhwa culture stations: “Sangsang Park” in front of Exit 3 of Myeongdong Station; “Manhwa Samgeori” in front of the Pacific Hotel; “Sayeon Post Office” where artists displayed the stories of citizens on the walls of a public parking lot; “Jaemi Sports Ground” in a convenience store parking lot; and “Manhwa Hill” on Namsan Ongbyeok (retaining wall). Other new additions included a four-story building with galleries and shops for comics, and some 70 famous local cartoonists contributed their work to walls and buildings along the street. A Manhwa Neighborhood Meeting was held to include the opinions of locals, and both the name of the street “Jaemiro”, and the name of the manhwa culture space, “Jaemirang” were selected from an SNS-based citizen competition and local votes.” Source: Wikivisualy.com
Here is the video I posted in Instagram of him in Behind the Scenes of Flower Boy Ramen Shop:
On the next photo you can see… the Nasam Tower. I went there after! To see this post go HERE.
It was so fun walking in this place… want to walk it? Click HERE and walk straight to the beige building in the intersection, then take a right (towards the lion!) and go straight to the end! Enjoy!
I went into this cafe/art gallery… and met the artist of all these cute characters of Korean culture… I had a delicious ginseng tea! on a gorgeous cup! I ended up buying many things from her… a cushion with a king… two cups, purse mirrors, etc! I really loved her work!
When you get to the very top of the street there is a highway, and across it (there is a walkway) there is the Seoul Animation Center. This place impressed me so much! I have to go back again! It had an exhibit area, a Cartoon Museum, a graphic book library! and a movie theater. The Cartoon Museum or ‘House of Cartoon’ was built in 2002 and has three floors of three dimensional artwork, and a library of over 56,000 items!!! including 48,000 comic books and 8,000 animation videos! Of all these places I was only able to visit the exhibit area… (Yes I have to go back!)
Here are my photos:
I found a YouTube video of this character… they are hilarious… !!!
Loved these larvae cartoons! So original… so creative… and disgustingly realistic at times!