真夏の韓国Mid-Summer in Korea 1-ソウル 明洞(ミョンドン) Seoul Myongdon


On the way to the hometown in Kyusyu for Bon ceremony, we had a short-trip to Seoul, South Korea We use a charter flight from Haneda Airport to Gimpo Airport this time. Although we have tickets for economy class, a counter lady tells us that we can use business class seats. What a lucky start of the trip! We were looking forward to having a Soraben (Japanese lunch-box specially arranged for air flight) served only at economy class seats, but we take the privilege of the excective class, of course. We keep Soraben as the next time fun.  The international terminal of Haneda Airport is very old, and the business class lounge is not also attractive compare to the ones at Narita for its interior and food.




From Gimpo Airport, the subway line brings us to the center of Seoul. The seat of the subway is covered only by the aluminum.



The hotel for this trip is Myondong Biz, which is located 10 minute-walk from the center of Myondong and gives us very competitive prices. The very top rank reputation in Seoul Navi page (popular Seoul guide sight in Japanese) made us to challenge this hotel. It’s quite funny because we find the hotel at the corner surrounded by many small printing factories. Inside the hotel, the room is relatively wide and clean considering the tariff. The staff speaks Japanese and the free internet service is available. We also find a mineral water server. Most of the hotel guests are French (families) and Japanese (ladies trip by oneself). Korean guests are minor.



After checking-in and a short rest, we go lunch to the center of Myondong. When my partner visited Europe this spring, she happened to sit next to a young Ikemen (good-looking) Korean boy named Yong-Su. He gave us his recommended Korean-food restaurants before this trip. So we go one of the recommended restaurants, Nackchi (Octopus) and Nenmyong (Korean noodle) House. We cannot read and speak Korean and the staff cannot speak Japanese, but the recommended dish is an easy one – Lunch B Set. We can do order it! The young Korean lady-staff comes to take care of our cooking pan. The food is so hot that sweat gushes out from all of our bodies.



Side dishes are steamed egg custard in Korean Style and fried cuttlefish. The big volume makes us give up eating all of them. To leave a little of dishes is polite Korean manner.

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In the afternoon, I make glasses at our favorite glasses store - Mil Glasses using a 30% discount ticket. Actual discount is more than 30% because of our soft negotiation.



As there was a shower, it becomes cool. It’s time for dinner. We take dinner at Kogun, traditional Korean-food restaurant. As Kogun is too popular for Japanese, we had avoided to visit there before. However Yong-Su also recommended Kogun, we rely on his recommendation. All of the guests at the first floor are only Japanese, as we expected. It’s quite easy to order dishes because of the menu in Japanese and Japanese-speaking staff. The dishes are Shin Song Ro – traditional stem pan and Bibimpa – rice in a bowl with boiled vegetables and an egg. Kimchi – Korean hod pickles and other many side dishes are free of charge.





The food at Kogun is not as hot and spicy as the food took at lunch, and is tender for our stomachs.

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真夏の韓国 Mid Summer in Korea 2-水原(スウォン)散策 Swong Walking 1


Today we go to Swong – the World Heritage near from Seoul. Before stating our shrt trip, we need some energy. Myondong Biz provides us breakfast at a small restaurant at the first floor. The dishes are simple - juice, bread and Korean porridge. The famous abalone porridge is also served once a week, but today’s is beef porridge.




We take subway again to go to Swong. The wall of the station shows many Korean traditions which are very interesting for us.



We get off the subway and take a bus to Swong. Our short trip starts from Bahdal Mun (gate). The weather report made a mistake which brings us very clear sky.



We walk around Bahdal Mun to find the entrance of the walking path, but cannot find it. Then we come to Fason Royal Palace, which is rebuilt recently. This Palace is used in the famous TV drama – Changum that is very popular in Japan.





Walking around the Palace, it is already lunch time. As Swong is famous as the origin of Kalbi (Korean beef barbecue), we try to find a Kalbi restaurant. We can find meat shops handles high quality beef, but cannot find any Kalbi restaurant. Then we find an Agu-Chim (steamed monkfish pan) restaurant. As Agu-Chim is one of our favorite dishes and we have planed to have it once during this trip, we change our mind to visit this Agu-Chim restaurant. Bean sprouts steamed with monkfish adds good flavor to the dishes.


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