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Seoul Searching | Cartoon Street + Seoul Animation Center.

I had a 'eureka' moment while watching 'Hwayugi' (A Korean Odyssey), Lee Seung Gi's comeback drama after serving in the military. In episode 2, you'll see Son Oh Gong (Lee Seung Gi) sitting on a building rooftop, watching over Jin Seon Mi (Oh Yeon Seo) as she tries to find her lost umbrella.
Son Oh Gong watching over Jin Seon Mi. It was THIS scene where I had my eureka moment. :)
Jin Seon Mi passes by a row of buildings before heading towards the back alley, and I was like, "Oh my! I know this place! We were there last spring!" I immediately posted my discovery on my Instagram and my Facebook page, where I was later on bombarded by inquiries about the location, how to get there, and the like.

And so, for the benefit of my fellowmen (more like fellow Kdrama addicts, lol), here's a little background about the Cartoon Street, one of the filming locations in Hwayugi.
The intersection in front of Pacific Hotel.
Virtual tour of Cartoon Street after the jump!
Known to the locals as Zaemiro or 'street of fun', this street begins from exit 3 of Myeongdong Station and extends 450 meters long, all the way to Seoul Animation Center. While this street has long been used as a connection point between Myeongdong and Namsan, it remained a very neglected area until its 'rebirth' as Zaemiro in 2013.
Plenty of colorful billboards like this in the area.
Conceptualized by the Seoul Metropolitan Government together with some of Korea's best cartoonists, the idea of an 'open-air cartoon gallery' came to life in December 2013. With aims of promoting the 'imaginative industry' and boosting tourism and local economy, the once dismal-looking area was given a colorful transformation with its graffiti-like paintings on walls, art installations, and illustrated billboards.
Walkabout, a travel-themed pub/Thai restaurant. This was shown on episode 2 of Hwayugi.
The building right next to it.
Colorful illustrations on walls.
This was my favorite wall in the whole stretch.
Walk up those steps to get to the main road.
Towards the middle of this 450-meter stretch, you'll see Zaemirang, or the 'cartoon museum'. It's a multi-purpose facility where you'll find some really cool exhibitions, and a library with a vast collection of manhwa (comic books). Entrance is free, and you can read comic books to your heart's content.
At the end of the street, you'll find the Seoul Animation Center, Korea's first-ever dedicated animation facility. We visited this place for the first time in 2015, after our leisurely stroll at Namsan Park. We had the chance to drop by again last spring, as we hiked our way up to Namsan while searching for Heo Jeon Jae's house.
Seoul Animation Center, Winter 2015.
Seoul Animation Center, Spring 2017.
Seoul Animation Center. 
The center was established by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in May 1999 to support the comics and animation industry in South Korea. It hosts exhibitions, seminars, and various educational programs, as well as the annual Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF).
Larva and friends. :)
Haechi and Dooly.
Robot Taekwon V. 
At the courtyard, you'll be greeted by life-size statues of cartoon characters - Pororo, Dooly, Larva, Tayo, and Robot Taekwon V, to name a few. Inside the complex, you'll find a variety of exhibitions, colorful murals, and life-like dioramas.
Perfect photo op for girls! :)
There's also a Cartoon Museum which houses more than 40,000 comic books and around 8,000 animation videos. You can read the comic books while inside the facility, and you can also watch videos through the individual viewing screens on the second floor.
Sit back, relax, watch a cartoon.
The center also houses the first and perhaps the only movie theater in Korea exclusively dedicated to animated films. Known as the Seoul Ani-Cinema, this 179-seat theater holds domestic and international film screenings and serves as a venue for animation film festivals, seminars, and conferences.
Seoul Ani-Cinema.
If you're traveling to Korea with kids and you're planning to go to N Seoul Tower, this is an alternative route that you can take. The uphill walk can be a bit tiring, but the cute and colorful displays that you'll see along the way will be worth the trek.

126, Sopa-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul

11 replies:

Lyf&Spice said...

I love the colourful and vibrant installations and art forms all around. This alone is enough for me to plan a trip to Seoul. Cheers!!

Emily Fata, said...

Seoul looks so amazing!! I love the vibrancy of these streets -- it's definitely on my travel bucket list! :)

Emily Fata, said...

Seoul looks like such an amazing, vibrant city! I love the colourful streets in your post.

Nina Bashaw said...

I loved all your photos, it really makes you feel like you were there experiencing it along side you.

Britney Kaufman said...

Those photos are beautiful! I love how inspirational it looks there and you described it so well.

Melinda Clayville said...

Wow! What an awesome place! I love that they transformed a formerly colorless area into this whimsical play land to inspire creativity! Thanks for sharing!

Elisha Elyssa said...

This looks like so much fun! I love the colorful murals, and it must be cool to have visited a place your favorite TV show was filmed.

Ladys World of Fashion by Lenka Dvorakova said...

Hello, it looks very beautiful. Would like to visit this place some day! Have a great day.

Luci Coo said...

That is some beautiful street art. Very colorful.

Emily Liou said...

Seoul is so artsy - I know their cafes have a lot of cool latte art, too!

Lavanda Michelle said...

Seoul looks beautiful and artsy. I have seen so many picture of Seoul, however not this unique. Lovely photos