June 29, 2019
I was writing a post about Cinderella and the Four Knights Episode 7, when I realized that I had been to one of the places where they filmed: The Ihwa Mural Villlage. I saw Jung Il-woo walking by one of the murals I had seen!!! What a beautiful surprise! I decided to visit this place on the last morning of my recent trip to Seoul. I chose it because I really love mural/street art and it seemed doable in the three hours,the time I had left before having to head to the airport.
To get there:
Subway Line 4: get off at Hyehwa stop.
This is also the closes stop to the Arko Theater. Yes! the theater where Jung Il-woo had performed ‘Beautiful Sunday’!!! So now you have two reasons to go there! I enjoyed the walk in this modest neighborhood a lot… thought it started to be seriously up hill after a while. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seoul. The more you walk in the Mural Village’s direction the more and more picturesque the places seems to become!
This is a map of the area, with the murals:
And now delight… I will place Jung Il-woo photos and a video of him walking here…
This mural was the first one I spotted… all the figures were made of wire:
This is the entrance to Naksan Park:
This is a map of the park…
and a fan, (Cr. Lovely_illim) captured Il-woo right in front of it:
Shall we see him a bit more? Yeah! Cr. Lovely_illim, DCIlwoo
This was a really cool store named ’70 st. Alice.” It was inspired by Alice in Wonderland. I was in WOOnderland alright:
I love… love the cat in that last photo, his eyes were as yellow as the walls! So gorgeous! He totally posed for me!!! What a cutie!!!
I actually wrote something on this wall… Can you guess what it was? I’ll give you a clue…it was Il-woo related!!! 🙂
This is the mural that made me realize I had been there… !!! and here is the scene from Episode 7:
!!! Cr. DCIlwoo
As I come to the very top… I did not expect to find the old Seoul City Wall (Hanyangdoseong) there!
This cafe called my attention as it had the most amazing view. What I didn’t realize then, is that it served as the facade of Park Hye-ji’s Fashion Studio!
Not sure if this is the same place… but it looks like this would be the view:
Cr. divanunarchives. com
There was a man taking care of the garden in the last photo… I told him it was beautiful in Korean… he smiled and started talking to me and I smiled … no idea what he was saying… he realized it and changed to the English he knew… then I asked him with the map how to get to the train station where the Dongdaemun gate was and after much pointing and a mix of Korean and English I started walking in the direction of his hand…I waved and said “Chonmal Kamsahbnida!” (Thanks so much!)
I walked all the way down along the old Seoul City Wall until I reached Dongdaemun Gate! Even though it was an overcast day, the views were so beautiful! And the fact that there was no sun, made it very nice and cool…
At last a glimpse of the gate…
This is Dongdaemun Gate, or the “Heunginjimun,” or the Gate of Rising Benevolence:
The intersection was so incredible… crossing it was a bit scary! You have all this modern transportation and noise and the peaceful stance of the very old historic gate… It seemed to say… ‘how you have changed my beloved Korea’… (The structure was first built by King Taejo during his fifth year of reign (1398). The current structure was rebuilt in 1869.)
After visiting, the Bushwick Collective area in New York, where Jung Il-woo had his photo shoot, (See more about his HERE.) the murals in this area were not as great. In fact some of the staircases that were supposed to have murals and mosaics had been painted gray on top! I read THIS article that talked about how the residents were so fed up of the noise caused by tourists that they vandalized the two staircases with murals about three years ago.
However, one bonus this place had over the industrial flat area in New York is that this place because it is so high, it has some pretty amazing views. Also it had a lot more character… as it was a residential area… and very old. I hope I get the chance to return someday, to have tea in that cafe… while my feet dangle high above Seoul!