Alleyways Where Time Flies, Ikseon-dong

See & Do Tours

Time Flies

사전 아이콘

an idiom used to describe a period of time which seems to pass by surprisingly fast.






There are certain alleyways where time flies. Designated as one of Seoul’s last hanok villages and created as a residential district for the citizens, an area of Ikseon-dong, Jongno is filled with small and cute hanok houses.
The narrow alleyways that barely fit two people have been reborn. Young entrepreneurs have renovated the interiors of old hanok houses to open up café and restaurants. Attracting more and more visitors with word of mouth, Ikseon-dong has transformed into one of the most hippest neighborhoods in the city.

Let's find out just how these alleyways can speed up time.






쌀 아이스크림

Eating in a Hanok



간판없는 가게

Signless Store _12:00 - 21:00 / Break Time 15:00 - 17:00

This store doesn’t have any sign. Instead, “Signless Store” is scribbled in tiny letters where the sign should be. Because of its huge popularity, there’s probably no way to miss it, but visitors with bad eyes should beware. The interior of the store differs vastly from the exterior. Menus hang from brick walls and luxurious looking chandelier shine down brilliantly. Their most popular menu is their pollack roe pasta and spinach pizza. ( 장소 아이콘 36 Donhwamun-ro 11da-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul)






Iksun Banjoo _11:30 - 22:30 / Break Time 15:00 - 17:00

Borrowing from the very Korean way of eating with musical accompaniment, Iksun Banjoo offers Korean fusion cuisine with a variety of alcoholic beverages. It's a place that sticks out as being very Korean in a neighborhood that has a lot of foreign influence mixed into its makeup. Although trivial, this store’s eye for detailed plating is remarkable. Their most popular menu is their Hansang Charim, a full-course meal complete with many different Korean dishes.. ( 장소 아이콘 31 Donhwamun-ro 11da-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul)






Seoul Coffee _12:00 - 22:30

Just from the name, it can be assumed this place is a very Korean and Seoulistic café. Based off Seoul in the 80s, this café has a spinning 3-colored pole reminiscent of vintage barber poles. Passerbyers can’t help but show interest in its assortment of sweets and snacks such as kkwabaegi (twisted bread stick), Injeolmi tiramisu, Sikhye (sweet rice punch) ice cream, and many other reinterpreted versions of regular traditional Korean food. ( 장소 아이콘 33-3 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul)







Gaming in a Hanok




Kom Kom Arcade _12:00 - 24:00

Before LoL or Battleground, there were Street Fighter, Tetris, Puyo Puyo, and Bubble Bobble. The best way to digest your food after eating a meal is to stop by Kom Kom Arcade and start off with some light finger exercises. This is also the reason why you should always carry around 3,000 won in cash. Supposedly, excess gaming in arcades boosts your intelligence so don’t worry too much about becoming an addict and dive right in. ( 장소 아이콘 25 Donhwamun-ro 11da-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul)






Uncle Videotown _11:00 - 23:00 / Closed every third Tuesday of the month

Whether you missed it in theaters or TV because you were too busy with life, you can always come here to find screenings of must-watch movies. The movie list changes twice a month and can be checked on their Instagram page (@unclevideotown). Viewers need to bring their own earphones to watch the movies, so make sure you have one on you. They also don’t take any reservations. Besides a movie hall, there’s also a separate café hall in this establishment. But visitors should note that going from the café hall to the movie hall will cost them an extra fee! ( 장소 아이콘 33-10 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul)







Shopping in a Hanok




Teterot Salon _11:30 - 20:00

This store sells modern hanbok, an updated version of the traditional Korean clothing only worn on special days and holidays. Unlike other traditional hanbok stores, this particular store isn’t as intimidating. Seeing the rows and rows of beautiful and vivid hanbok lined up on the racks, it’s really hard not to buy anything. Like most clothing stores, food and drinks are not allowed inside and visitors are prohibited from taking photos to prevent theft of design. ( 장소 아이콘 21-12 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul)






익선동 간판들



These are only but a few of the many interesting stores located within Ikseon-dong. It’s surprising to learn that a day simply isn’t enough to see everything that Ikseon-dong has to offer. Time just flies when you’re exploring this place. And that’s probably why so many are drawn to this quaint little neighborhood.