The Last Oraegage of Jongno
See & Do Tours
A place where tradition and modernity coexists together, Jongno is an area filled with many cultural sites.
Walking along the alleyways nestled between concrete buildings and forest greeneries, you suddenly find yourself standing next to the palace’s stonewall walkway. And suddenly, you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. It’s also very interesting to note that the high rise buildings and the palaces standing next to them don’t clash but blend in and coexist together in harmony. It’s probably for this very reason that many people love visiting the Jongno district of Seoul. Just like the old palaces, the last oraegages (old stores) continue to exist and remain, constantly adjusting to the ever-changing cityscape of modern Seoul.
45 Donhwamun-ro 6na-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Working with jade is much more strenuous than we think. These days, with the advancement of various tools, one person can work on jade without any problem, but it was not so back in the day. Intangible Property No. 37, Eom Ik-pyeong is a jade artisan who dug through various old writings and accounts to further develop his technique in order revive the dying art of working with jade. His efforts led to not only winning several contests for his artwork but also led to him being designated and bestowed the honorable title of a jade craft artisan. The jades crafted in Gawon Craft Studio possess a special kind of beauty. If one stares long enough, it’s as if the jades are copies of the moon emitting their own special light. The sight of these works are quite unforgettable.
12 Gyedong 6-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
The studio is always open from 10 am to 5 pm. It’s a studio that’s open to literally anyone. Owned and operated by woodcraft artisan Sin Jeong-cheol, Bukchon Woodcraft Studio is a studio filled to the brim with his wooden crafts. Having carved wood for decades, his works bring up a vivid imagery of old Korean dancers in white garments moving their shoulders up and down, dancing to the beat of a drum. A craft artisan renowned for the way in which he expresses the beauty of lines in his woodwork, he is also a master mask crafter and hopes to recreate the many human expressions of people through his artwork.
17-3 Yulgok-ro 30-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Yuil Oriental Medicine Clinic is derived from the characters ‘yu’ and ‘il’ meaning “one and only”. Bearing pride as the “one and only” oriental clinic, the history of this place goes back 94 years. The owner still uses the medicine cabinets, medicine scales, and acupuncture needles used during his father’s time. The needles made of white gold, gold, and silver are worn to the point where they’re very narrow. This just shows and proves that many people were healed with these very needles. The owner’s hands move about delicately as expected of hands that had spent a lifetime saving many lives.