Jeonju Han-ok VillageOne of the most representative tourist attractions in Korea that won’t be missed would be Jeonju Han-ok Village. As the time goes by, interest in Han-ok Village is increasing and it has become a must-visit place. As soon as you go there, you can recognize how popular Han-ok Village is with the many foreigners. You must have visited this place at least once if you live in Jeonju. Do you know every inch of Han-ok Village very well?
● Healing Space, Han-ok Village
When you want to get away from complex cities and many thoughts are in your head, let’s go off to Jeonju, especially Han-ok Village! Han-ok Village accepts your untold agony and gives you quite a time when you are not likely to be disturbed. There, you can walk on gravel paths and also see wonderful eaves. How about having a healing time and strolling with your partners and family?
- Jeondong Catholic Cathedral
Jeondong Catholic Cathedral was selected as one of the most beautiful Catholic cathedrals in Korea. The cathedral also shows magnificence of Romanesque style and is quite ancient among Western and modern architecture in the Honam area. It was built in seven years with the plan of a priest, and it has been the backdrop for so many famous movie scenes. A dome composed of red brick inside the cathedral and stained glass windows are very beautiful, and the white cross in the front yard might help the beauty of the cathedral.
This palace preserves the portrait of the deceased Yi Seong-gye, the first king of the Joseon dynasty. Gyeonggi palace is located in the entrance of the Han-ok village, and most tourists stop by there first. The palace’s original size was much larger than now; however, in the Japanese colonial period, Japanese people built a Japanese primary school by demolishing the annex of the palace. As a result, half of the size has disappeared. When you go inside, you can find an imposing bamboo grove. In summer you can avoid the heat and hear the sound of tremulous bamboo leaves. How nice it is!
-Gyodong Art Center
In 1970, the Saemaeul Movement was spread and the manufacturing was the core business of the nation. At that time, an underwear production factory where most women worked for their lives entered in the place of the present Gyodong Art Center for the first time. Now, the Gyo-dong Art Center is the place of communicating between the artist and the public, and also of creating fresh works continuously. Today, there is a multi-purpose auditorium where artists give various kinds of cultural activities, education, seminar and forums to the public.
-Choi Myeong Hee Literary Museum
Choi Myeong Hee Literary Museum in Hanok Village is a museum about novelist Choi Myeong Hee, who was famous for her life´s masterpiece, ‘Honbul’, to praises her spirit of literature and to inherit cultural traditions. Now, citizens are communicating continuously with the tradition through the lecture of the literature, debate, seminars and so on.
In Han-ok Village, Eunhaengro preserves the beautiful scene of nature. It is the best place to meditate and to feel nature while getting out of complex cities. There are 600-year-old ginkgo trees on the street, after which people named this street Eunhaengro. The 600-year-old ginkgo tree is magnificent and splendid enough to catch people’s eyes. Also, cold water flows along the street. Therefore, you will be happy when walking on this street.
● Traditional Experiences in Han-ok Village
As Han-ok Village is getting more and more popular, it starts to be commercial. You cannot taste tradition only with sightseeing, but when you look around from end to end and experience various programs, you can feel Han-ok Village’s real worth. Let’s feel the mood of the Han-ok Village.
To the modern people who are used to mass produced goods, making hanji, the traditional Korean paper, is a unique experience. Touching hanji makes us recall our childhood. The glue to make hanji is made of flour and starch flour. It is safe and harmless for kids even if they eat it, unlike the chemical glue which contains toxic ingredients. By sticking and playing with hanji, you can get an old-style feeling.
It is certain that you can have a meaningful time with crafting ceramics. While tempering clay, you have a real chance to think about the nature and taste tradition.
-Traditional Culture & Food Experience
Wear a hanbok for a while to learn once again about the manner of Koreans. In particular, act and eat food wearing a hanbok like people in old times.
Today, the table overflows with instant food. A traditional food experience gives you an opportunity to enjoy traditional food like gujeolpan, tangpyeongchae, and so on. You could feel as if you’ve just arrived in the past in a time machine. These experiences are waiting for you.
After passing by the old houses, there is a stone fence with flower painting. Usually, a stone fence feels very stuffy, but this flowered stone fence makes you feel beauty.
Minsokgil, intersecting Taejoro, is a typical alleyway which exudes an atmosphere of old times. If you go into Minsokgil, you will be momentarily under the illusion that you are in the Joseon Dynasty period!
● Taste & Flavor in Han-ok Village
Jeonju is the most Korean city. Also, Jeonju has so many delicious traditional foods. In Jeonju, any restaurant you go into is above the national average, so when people visit Jeon-ju, they are wondering about food as a first priority. Specifically, in Jeonju Han-ok Village, you can enjoy the best Korean food. Recently foreigners have been visiting Jeonju to enjoy fresh and impressive food. The followings are the representative foods in Jeonju Han-ok Villiage!
-Bean Sprout Soup with Rice
Commonly, throughout the nation, people recognize that Jeonju has the best bean sprouts. When we see the history of bean sprouts, there is no record about Bean Sprout Soup with Rice except seasoned bean sprouts in the Goryeo to Joseon era. The detailed recipe about bean sprout soup with rice appeared in 1910, and its origin was Jeonju. The traditional bean sprout soup with rice is cooked with a big bowl and various seasoning ingredients with hot water. These days you can enjoy it everywhere throughout the country. However you can enjoy the original taste only in Jeonju. The warm soup can help you to digest well and relieve your body. This flavor is loved by people of all ages.
-Variety of Korean Table d’hote
Jeonju Korean table d’hote consists of ingredients from the field, mountain and sea: grains harvested from wide plains, wild edible greens, and the fresh and plenty of sea food from the West Sea. Adding the plenty of local food and warm heart, the foods are satisfying even to gourmets. In particular, the main food of Korean table d’hote, called Jeonju’s ten tastes, is a repository of traditional food. When you taste Korean table d’hote in Jeonju, you can differentiate it from that of other cities.
-Health food, Ohmogari Stew
Ohmogari Stew is a spicy stew with fresh-water fish. ‘Ohmogari’ is a Jeonju dialect of earthen pot in which the stew is cooked. To put it simply, this stew is a nicely prepared meal. The taste of this food is spicy and clean. While originally the food with fish has a fishy smell, Ohmogari Stew contains various vegetables which remove this fishy smell. Because of these vegetables, you can enjoy the clean taste. Don’t miss this taste when you visit Jeonju Han-ok village.
- Makgeolli (turbid rice-wine)
Jeonju Makgeolli is one of the three representative Makgeollis in nation. Along with bibimbap, Korean table d’hote, and bean sprout rice soup, Makgeolli is another typical food in Jeonju. Makgeolli is a low-alcohol liquor. To Jeonju people, Makgeolli is food rather than alcohol. It alleviates people´s hunger and cheers them up. We can say it is just Korean ‘soul food’ with which we can share the culture and our lives.
It is good to enjoy the Han-ok Village just with your eyes, but when you enjoy it with taste, the delight will be doubled. Also, it will be the special place where you can go and have fun together with your family, friends and partner. I hope you have a good time in Jeonju Han-ok Village, which has the flavor of beauty.
CBNU Han-style Research Center
CBNU’s Han-style Research Center is an organization developing and promoting Korean traditional cultures including the Korean alphabet, food, clothes, paper, houses, and music which can be commercialized, globalized, and used in everyday life.
Its major projects are supporting design development of modern hanboks, disseminating the Korean alphabet to other countries, expanding tourist resources of han-ok, standardizing recipes of Korean food, and supporting export of Korean paper goods. Also, it provides a regular tour of the Han-ok Village with the students and residents.
These works are creating new job opportunities, and the center plays a part to popularize the Jeonju Han-ok Village. Its final goal is to enhance the national image as the representative traditional cultural brand increasing ‘Korea Premium’.
An interview with Lee Chong-min, the leader of Han-style Research Center
1. Give us a brief introduction about yourself
I am a professor in the Dept. of English Language & Literature in CBNU. I love Jeonju and Korean traditions, so I am trying to apply Korean culture-related policies to national work. I used to work as a director of ‘People Loving Jeonju’, which was an organization for people who love Jeonju. These days, I am doing my best to make Jeonju the most Korean city and putting my steady interest into developing the Han-ok Village.
2. What specifically attracts foreigners about Han-ok Village?
In their eyes, everything is special. Whenever I go around with them as a guide, most of them are surprised by its appearance. They are moved to admiration by trying on hanboks and making hanji in person. When the U.S Ambassador to South Korea, Kathleen Stephens, visited Han-ok Village, she told me that she was impressed by some kids learning traditional etiquette in hanboks. I think our unique culture and customs always attract foreigners.
3. What are your plans to make CBNU the most Korean university?
Most of all, I want to change the exterior of campus buildings into Korean style. Also, I am going to continue a system of serving visitors Korean traditional tea wearing a hanbok whenever CBNU holds important seminars.
4. What is the biggest merit of the Han-ok Village?
Jeonju Han-ok Village is close to the downtown where the common people lived. Though the appearance is less beautiful than other han-ok villages in Korea, there are some people following the traditions and artisans who are doing traditional work steadily. Not only its appearance, but also its mind is Korean. It has a small size, but it is special.
You have now looked at various scenes of the Han-ok Village. You might feel like you found a hidden treasure which could have been missed. Isn’t it surprising that you can see and experience many things in this small village? How about finding other charms of Han-ok Village and making your own story with your partners and friends?
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