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11.03.2016

Seoul Searching | Apgujeong Adventures - K-Star Road, Rodeo Street, Moomin and Me Cafe!

For any Kpop fan, no trip to Korea would be complete without visiting Apgujeong - Seoul's upscale shopping and residential area, and home to K-Star Road and Korea's top entertainment labels. I did not have the explore the area during my first trip to Korea, so it was a must that I visit Apgujeong on my next visit (ergo, last spring).

Apparently, Apgujeong was just one subway stop away from the Seoul Forest Station, a relatively new station in Korail's Bundang Line and a ten-minute walk from where we live. Yue didn't seem to mind walking all the way to the station as the spring breeze was nice and cozy that day.
Under Stand Avenue.
Yes, it's built from cargo containers.
We even took photos as we passed by Under Stand Avenue, a cargo container mall similar to Jayang-dong's Common Ground.
Just another 'sunset in Seoul' photo. 
Stopping to appreciate the flowers.
Spring is <3.
We were in Apgujeong in no time, and ready to take the walk down K-Star Road!
K-Star Road!
Let the Apgujeong Adventure begin!
Full post (and lots of photos) after the jump!
Also known as the 'Hallyuwood Walk of Fame', this street in Gangnam south of the Han River features 'Gangnamdols' - cute bear sculptures in honor of Korea's popular idol groups.
Super Junior.
2PM.
SHINee.
CNBlue.
TVXQ.
EXO.
A total of 17 Gangnamdols line up the K-Star Road walkway, starting from the east wing of the Galleria Department Store all the way to Cheongdam Fashion Street.
Galleria Department Store.
K-Star Road map for your reference.
Yue and I also took this opportunity to catch a glimpse of the SM Entertainment building and the JYP building.
This is actually the old SM building, now being utilized as a 'Global Artists Training Center'.
Hey, Mamacita! :)
The new SM building.
JYP building.
By chance, we also found Rain Company, which Rain owns. The building is pretty new, as his one-man agency was established towards the end of 2015.
Rain Company.
As we made our way back to K-Star Road, towards the west wing of the Galleria, we took photos of some of the luxury stores in the area. Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Dior... these are just some of the brands lined up neatly in the Cheongdamdong Fashion Street.
Prada.
Omega and Michael Kors.
Louis Vuitton across the street.
The prettiest building in the area - Dior.
Burberry across the street.
Along the west wing of the Galleria, you'll find the Gangnamdol Haus and this huge Gangnamdol which I reckon represents Psy, you know - Gangnam Style. :)
Gangnam Style!
You can purchase miniatures of the Gangnamdols at the Gangnamdol Haus, but the shop was already closed by the time we got there.
And the Gangnamdol Haus.
We then made our way to Rodeo Street, also known as 'Korea's Beverly Hills'. Located across the street from the west wing of the Galleria, Rodeo Street is a plethora of shops and restaurants.

Rodeo Street!
The entrance is marked by a special archway, which makes it pretty easy to find - even at night. International clothing stores such as Uniqlo and H&M can be found in this area, as well as Korean fashion brands and cosmetics stores.
H&M.
Uniqlo.
Inside the lift at the H&M store.
Vans x Line Friends.
NBA Store.
This area is also home to the Moomin and Me Cafe, which opened on the same day we visited. It's the first (and currently the only) Moomin Cafe in South Korea, and the fifth country in the world to have its very own, duly-licensed Moomin Cafe, just like the ones in Japan, Hongkong, Thailand, and Finland.
Moomin & Me Cafe!
If you're not familiar with the Moomins, they're a family of white, roundish creatures that have large, hippo-like snouts. They're the central characters in a series of books and a comic strip by Tove Jansson, Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist, artist, and illustrator.
Moominmamma.
Moominpappa.
Moomintroll and Snorkmaiden.
The Moomins, together with their friends, live in Moomin Valley, which is the backdrop of this Moomin Cafe. In fact, the cafe's facade is patterned after the Moomin House, where the Moomins reside.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony, held earlier that day.
Photo credits: Moomin.com.
Had we arrived earlier at the cafe, we could have met this Moomintroll mascot and the Creative Director of the Moomin characters, Sophia Jansson (niece of Tove Jansson).
Little My!
The cafe has five floors: the first floor is the Souvenir Shop, where you can shop for Moomin items such as plushies, keychains, stationery, fridge magnets, mugs, kitchenware, and even tea!
Notebooks, pens, etc...
Fridge magnets.
Yue tinkering with this boat.
Mugs.
Honey sticks.
Oh, My!
Kitchenware.
Tea!
The second and third floors are for the cafe and restaurant, where they serve this really cute macaron. This, coffee, and sparkling water were the only food items available that day. It was, after all, still their soft opening.
Moomin macaron.
The first basement is the indoor theme park/photo zone, with walls  decorated with photos from the Moomin novels to make guests feel as if they are in Moominvalley.
Pink clouds for Instagram-worthy photos.
Moomin's bedroom.
The lighthouse behind.
Ahoy, Yue!
Moomin Valley!
Guests enjoying photo ops.
Camping with the BFFs.
The best friend, Snufkin.
The second basement, on the other hand, is said to be the Moomin theatre, where kids can enjoy watching the Moomin animated series, as well as films.
Moominland Midwinter.
More Moomin cuteness!
If I could only bring just one of these furniture home...
From what I know, the cafe and restaurant is now fully operational and now has a variety of items on the menu. That gives me enough reason to visit this cafe and go on another Apgujeong adventure the next time I fly to Seoul! :)
See you soon, Moomin! :)

6 replies:

Divya Budhraja said...

Aw that last picture is too adorable! Looks like you're having fun :)

Rose Pingol said...

It looks like you're having fun, it's such a great place for whole family.

Nicole Escat said...

Wow, looks like a nice shopping place! I will definitely make a visit when I get to Korea!

Kristen Campbell said...

There is just so much to look at! How can you ever see it all?!

Xoneia Tayag said...

That's a lot of cool places for the kids to visit! I think it's awesome that you were able to go and explore this part of Korea!

Mai C. said...

My kids will have a grand time here! I love that there are many places for them to enjoy that are specifically for them.

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