Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Make way...

It took rather longer than I had expected but I finally bought a new camera so I suppose I should be a bit more assiduous in my Incheon-related blogging from now on. Ho hum.

One place I most definitely want to take the time to revisit later is this road tunnel.

'''Hongyemun''', an arched gate, was built by the Japanese almost exactly 100 years ago and though bare of all foliage in this photo (taken at the end of February), it is apparently a sight to behold in the summer months. Unless it's all been done away with, of course.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Letters from Incheon

Back to the updates...

Within easy walking distance of the Incheon station, Chinatown and Sinpo areas is the rather striking Incheon Post Office building, built in 1924.

From the information board outside the Post Office:

"The building of it was built in 1924. It compromised the Western and Korean styles simply and this style was the main current in those days."

Friday, 2 March 2007

Hansel and Gretel?

Not far from the Jung-gu office located on the edge of Chinatown is this rather interesting little bar/coffee shop called Ppoya.

Interesting in that the exterior is decorated entirely with bottle tops.

Unique, to say the least.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Move out, mayor

Now home to the Incheon Historical Archive, this residence just a stone's throw away from Jayu Park was the former home of seventeen Incheon city mayors.

From the information board at the entrance to the garden:

During the Japanese occupation it was the house of a Japanese businessman. After the restoration of Korean independence it was utilized as a Western-style restaurant called Dongyang jang, and later used as a social club called Songhak jang as it had a beautiful garden.

In 1966 Incheon City purchased and reconstructed it into a Korean-style house and it was changed for the mayor's official residence.

The reconstruction plan was performed by Gapno Yoon, the 12th mayor, in February 1965, but the building began to be used for the mayor's official residence from Haedu Kim, the 14th mayor, in September 1966. This mayor's official residence has been famous for the beautiful garden overlooking Incheon Port. Until 2001 it was used by the previous 17 mayors who stayed here during their term of office.

Would have liked this shot more if the car hadn't been there...

The building has a rather nice garden with a great view of Incheon harbor.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Chinatown wanderings

Immediately opposite Incheon station, Chinatown and the immediate surrounding area is certainly an interesting little place to wander around for an afternoon.

Plenty of restaurants...


and dragons to be found...

...but of most interest was the architecture of the area. More to follow on some of the more interesting buildings to be found in the area, but there are a number of interesting stone staircases in the vicinity.

This one connects Chinatown to Jayu Park, with some impressive tile murals on either side.

This stairway leads up to a small residential area in Chinatown (and no, I have no idea why I seem to favour taking shots at an angle to the right).

The most 'famous' of the staircases in the Chinatown area is the "Boundary stairs of Qing dynasty (China) & Japanese settlement", designated Monument 51 in Incheon City, the stairs featured in the blog title banner above.

The information sign at the foot of the stairs explains their creation:

This area formed the boundary between the Japanese settlement (1883) and the settlement for Qing dynasty that is one of ancient Chinese kingdoms (1884). Stairs toward International Park (now, Peace Park) and a landscape were completed in this area.

A close-up of one of the stairway posts and the hanging lanterns.

Looking down the stairs towards the harbor.

At the top of the stairs stands a statue of Confucius...

... who has a much better view over Incheon harbor than Douglas MacArthur does (in this entry, if you're interested).

Thursday, 22 February 2007


Under the shadow of the Paradise Hotel, and just round the corner from Incheon Station, stands this monument to the American missionaries who arrived in the city in 1885 to spread the gospel of Christ.

From the blurb on the information board next to the monument:

"Easter Sunday, 5 April, 1885
The American missionaries, the Rev. & Mrs. Henry G. Appenzeller and the Rev. Horace G. Underwood, landed here at the risk of their lives to bring the great light of truth, the Gospel of Christ.


Now, as we come to the centenary, we erect this memorial with the prayer that the missionary spirit brought by these three may endure and that the river of faith arising here may sweep as a wave across the whole land and across the seas to the ends of the earth"


Wednesday, 21 February 2007

There be cranes (and other steel stuff)

It may be at the top of a big set of stairs, but even I'm not so lazy to let that put me off taking the trip up to the back of Chinatown to check out Jayu (Freedom) Park.

Half-way up the first set of stairs, with another set to go through the gate, time to take a photo and use the short break to recuperate (and once more temporarily swear off the double servings of galbi)...

The park itself is probably best served by a springtime photo blog, however a raised pavillion perched on the edge of the hillside immediately behind Chinatown affords some rather good views of the main port area of Incheon.

The building almost dead centre in the following shot is the offices of the Incheon Ilbo, the main daily newspaper in the city.

A more general view of the area, and beyond.

Cranes at the harbor, and the Incheon Jungbu Police HQ building in the foreground.

The large white building is the Paradise Hotel, with Wolmido Island in the background.

Not the most photogenic of areas, but interesting all the same.

One man who watches over the scene daily is Douglas MacArthur, the US army general who led United Nations coalition forces in the early stages of the Korean War. His statue has watched over Incheon city since its erection in 1957, and is located in a garden that appears to have been very recently renovated.

Much more of the Lunar New Year weekend photofest to come, at least if/when the blog starts getting busier.