It is no exaggeration to say that Gangnam, which became famous as PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ became popular, is the source of the Korean wave. Gangnam had been the leading place of the Korean trends even before it gained worldwide recognition. More than a half of a total number of Korean entertainment companies are located in Gangnam, so this place is a birthplace of many Korean wave stars. Let’s take a look at the memorable ‘K-Star ROAD’, established around Cheongdam-dong region.
The course of K-Star ROAD, where the stars are born
Apgujeong Rodeo Station, exit 2 - Cheongdam crossroads - Cube Cafe
Course 1 Let’s meet the K-stars in the art works! : The K-Star Road
The main road connecting the Apgujeong Rodeo Station exit 2 and Cheongdam crossroads is often called the ‘luxury road of Cheongdam,' with many luxury goods stores along with the road. However, it seems it is time to call it the K-Star Road.
As you take the exit 2 from the Apgujeong Rodeo Station, you can find GangnamDol, indicating that you have arrived at the K-Star Road. GangnamDol is a compound word of ‘Gangnam’, ‘idol, and ‘doll’. It is a symbolic sculpture of the K-Star Road, with the symbolic images of the famous K-pop groups printed on the human-scale bear doll.
It took about two years to establish the K-Star Road. There is a 3-meter-tall PSY GangnamDol in front of the Galleria Department Store, and seventeen more GangnamDols of Super Junior, EXO, Girl’s Generation, and Bangtan Boys are located. The GangnamDols are placed along with about 1 km section of the road connecting the Apgujeong Rodeo Station and Cheongdam crossroads, so if you walk along the GangnamDol places, you can enter the area packed with entertainment companies, including JYP Entertainment and Cube Entertainment. It is another enjoyable content to find your favorite singer’s GangnamDol and take a picture to be posted in your SNS.
Let’s find your favorite idol singer’s GangnamDol!
② Super Junior
④ FT Island
⑥ Miss A
⑨ Girls’ Generation
⑰ Block B
There is GANGNAMDOL HAUS in front of exit 7 of Apgujeong Rodeo Station, where they are selling miniature GangnamDols as a souvenir. You may also find the tourist information in this place!
Course 2 The leading entertainment companies of Korean wave: SM and JYP Entertainment
The K-Star Road is also notable with its densely located Korean famous entertainment companies, which have led the driving force of K-pop. While having a look around the GangnamDols near the Apgujeong Rodeo Station, you may find the GangnamDols of Girl’s Generation and EXO. It is time to take a rest and look around. You can find SM Entertainment, the largest entertainment company in Korea. Although the building is under construction, you can recognize it without any difficulty because of the huge panel on the building exterior. This facility is called ‘SM Global Training Center,' a training place for the SM artists. You might be able to see the artists going to work if you are lucky enough.
If you have finished seeing Block B’s GangnamDol, the last GangnamDol of K-Star Road, take a walk into the Cheongdam-dong alley along the Apgujeong-ro 79 street. You may find a familiar sign as you walk in about 300 meters through the narrow alley. This is the JYP Entertainment headquarters, where 2PM, Miss A, and Get 7 belong to. Since the exterior is decorated with the JYP artists’ pictures, it is easy to find the building even from far away.
SM Global Training Center
Address : 423 Apgujeong-ro
, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Contact information : 02-6240-9800
Homepage : smtown.com
Location : 5 minutes by walking from the exit 2 of Apgujeong Rodeo Station
Address : 78 gil 41, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Contact information : 02-3438-2300
Homepage : www.jype.com
Location : 3 minutes by walking from the Cheongdam-dong Community Service Center
f you prefer a tour around the entertainment companies, here is a suggested route : FNC Entertainment - SM Global Training Center - JYP Entertainment - Cube Entertainment.
Course 3 A café that is operated by an entertainment company: Cube Entertainment (Cube Café)
Cube Entertainment is located adjacent to the JYP Entertainment. Beast, 4Minute, BTOB, etc., belong to Cube Entertainment. Unlike the other entertainment companies, there is a secret place in Cube Entertainment. A café for the fans. They are selling not only the beverages and deserts, but also the MD products of Cube artists. It is another pleasure to find traces of Cube artists around the café. Apparently sometimes the artists like Beast or 4Minute visits the café and order some drinks.
The headquarters of FNC Entertainment is located about 10 minutes away from the Cube Café. K-pop idol groups like FT Island, CNBLUE, AOA, and famous broadcasters like Jeong Hyung-Don belong to FNC Entertainment. The FNC headquarters is famous for its exceptionally beautiful design. It was awarded the ‘Beautiful Structure Prize’ in 2013, designated by Gangnam-gu. This building is equipped with various facilities including ensemble rooms, private practice rooms, studios, and fitness centers.
Address : 89-gil 8, Dosan-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Contact information : 02-3445-1045
Homepage : www.cubeent.co.kr
Location : 5 minutes by walking from the Cheongdam-dong Community Service Center (124-1 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu)
Address : 79-gil 48, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Contact information : 02-548-7720
Business hours : 10 am ~ 10:50 pm from Monday to Sunday
Location : 4 minutes by walking from the Cheongdam-dong Community Service Center
Address : 85-gil 46, Dosandae-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Contact information : 02-517-5426
Homepage : www.fcent.com