Korean drama My Love from the Star first premiered on December 18, 2013, and tells the story of an alien who landed on Earth some 400 years ago during the Joseon Dynasty and falls in love with a top star actress in the modern era. In this sweet and animated fantasy romance, extraterrestrial Do Min-jun finds himself falling in love with top star Cheon Song-yi, and saving her when she finds herself in perilous situations multiple times. The drama ended with lots of buzz about top stars Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun. Read on to learn more about the drama’s filming locations, which have drawn a lot of recent attention among the show’s fans.
Episode 2 features a scene where Do Min-jun passes a street on a bicycle. This street is the Café Alley of Baekhyeon-dong (or Pangyo Café Alley), one of the three café alleys in Bundang. At the end of the alley is coffee shop “I’m Home.” This shop is housed in a retro-style building, and has long been known for being small and cozy. Café Alley has gained in popularity since appearing in the drama.
The cartoon café run by Cheon Song-yi’s friend Bokja that appears in Episode 3 is a real comic book café. Do Min-jun visits the café to get comic books for Cheon Song-yi, and she also later comes here to consult with Bokja (a fortuneteller) about her relationship with Min-jun. Visitors can also read comics and take pictures. According to the shop assistant, people were unaware of the filming because it all took place in the early mornings. The shop has become popular with frequent visits by drama fans. It costs 2,000 won to read comic books for an hour and 5,000 won for up to three hours. Note that the shop does not really have the VIP room in which Cheon Song-yi reads comic books in the show.
The Hangang River ferry cruise is popular among both local and international travelers. In Episode 4, a movie star invites other elite individuals to her private wedding on a rented ferry cruise. During the wedding, a mysterious homicide occurs. Professor Do and Cheon Song-yi also share their first kiss on the ferry. The Hangang River runs through the heart of Seoul, and is symbolic among Koreans. About 20 bridges light up the river at night. All visitors to Seoul are bound to cross over one of the bridges at some point during their trip to the capital city.
The ferry cruise starts from the Yeouido Wharf and Jamsil Wharf. There are 11 departures from Yeouido and seven departures from Jamsil. During the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain performance, those aboard the ferry can enjoy a beautiful night view of the rainbow fountain twice each day. The other ferry cruises offer live performances during this period. The cruise also offers a buffet lunch and dinner every day. The dinner buffet starts at 60,000 won.
The naembi udong, or udong noodles in a hot pot, enjoyed by Cheon Song-yi and Do Min-jun in Episode 7 was filmed at Yurimmyeon, an udong establishment with 50 years of tradition. The restaurant is located in Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul and has been in business for three generations. All noodles are suta-myeon, or hand-made, giving them a unique and pleasant chewy quality. The noodles are flavored using only natural ingredients, establishing the restaurant as one of the top noodle destinations in the city. At the top of the menu is the savory naembi udong, which comes with fresh eomuk (fish cakes), egg, rice cakes, and mushrooms. This dish is particularly soothing during the winter season. Other popular dishes on the menu are bibimmyeon and milmyeon (although these noodles were not featured in the drama). Boasting chewy noodles, the milmyeon is served in a broth made with healthy medicinal ingredients, making it a highly recommended dish during the summer. All items can be ordered for takeout.
In Episode 8, Professor Do and Lawyer Jang play a round of janggi (Korean chess) at a café called Hangnim Dabang, which has been in business since 1956. When it first opened, it was a popular gathering place among Seoul National University students as well as figures from the art world—music, fine arts, theatrical plays, literature. The tables and chairs are still arranged in the same way as they were in the past, providing a unique old-fashioned ambiance. In addition to coffee and tea, the shop is famous for its cream cheese cake, made right at the cafe. The shop also has numerous old vinyl albums on display. Together with the piano and various coffee utensils, the old songs played with these records behind the counter enhance the café ambiance, taking visitors back to a special time in Korea’s modern history. The shop was also a filming location in Korean dramas The Heirs and High Kick Through the Roof.
The 11th episode features a scene where Cheon Song-yi and Do Min-jun spend time together in the snow-covered outdoors. This scene was filmed at the beautiful Jangam Reservoir in Gungmangbong Recreational Forest in Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do. The reservoir is a bit tricky to find, making it relatively less known to the general public. Behind the reservoir are majestic mountain peaks and a beautiful lake. In the winter, visitors can also enjoy camping on the ice.
Episode 11 goes back to a scene in the Joseon Dynasty. Do Min-jun consults with Heo Jun, a noted Oriental medicine doctor of the time, and confesses that he came from a far-away star. This scene was filmed at the Korean Folk Village in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do inside a straw shoe workshop. The shop normally displays Korean traditional straw shoes. The Korean Folk Village offers a great harmony between traditional Korean homes called hanok and the surrounding landscape. Lucky visitors can also spot a traditional Korean wedding or shooting of a movie or drama. Photo zones have also been set up at areas where movies and dramas were filmed, so visitors can take pictures against an array of backgrounds.
In Episode 14, Cheong Song-yi shoots a scene where she performs a stunt, diving off the side of the building supported by wires attached to her body. This scene was filmed in the well-known Dongdaemun area of Seoul. Resembling a space ship and located across from the Dongdaemun shopping malls, Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park (DDP) opened on March 21, 2014. Designed by world-famous designer Zaha Hadid, the DDP took four years to build. It is a large urban development project featuring three floors above ground and three underground. It includes a museum, business center, and park.
* Photo courtesy: Petite France
In Episode 15, Do Min-jun kisses Cheon Song-yi by employing his supernatural powers. This romantic scene unfolds at Petite France in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do, which has since drawn considerable attention online. It was also a filming location of Korean dramas Secret Garden, Beethoven Virus, and variety program Running Men. On February 14, 2014, the Petite France extended its hours to 9 p.m. The extended hours will run through the end of August.
In Episode 16, Do Min-jun faints after receiving a kiss from Cheon Song-yi. Cheon Song-yi grumbles and drives him home. The background of the scene changes from the Petite France in Gapyeong to Provence Village in Paju. Just like the Petite France, Provence Village also features French-style buildings. Following the opening of the first French restaurant in 1996, other restaurants, fashion stores, and cafes opened up, forming this village.
The location where the date takes place in Episode 16 and 18 can be quickly identified by anyone who has ever visited the local landmark. Travel site Tripadvisor’s users selected N Seoul Tower as the most popular tourist site in Korea. In the episodes, top star Cheon Song-yi also wanted to go there on a date, and create a special lock with Do Min-jun to attach to the fence. N Seoul Tower features a 300-meter high observatory as well as various restaurants and shops. Located on the highest floor of the tower is n.GRILL, a luxurious restaurant offering Michelin star-rated French cuisine. Reservations are required. Lunch starts at 45,000 won, and a couple set menu is 320,000 won.
Episode 17 features guest star Suzy, a member of K-pop group Miss A, whose presence causes Cheon Song-yi to feel jealous. The scene was shot at Ilsan Lake Park in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do (a satellite city of Seoul). The park features an artificial lake, a walking trail, and a music fountain where people can rest and hang out. A variety of performances and festivals held at the park year round. Near the park are LaFesta, KINTEX, Onemount Snowpark & Waterpark.
Photo courtesy: Visit Korea (Korean site)
In Episode 19, Do Min-jun goes with Cheon Song-yi to visit an island to find a quiet place to spend time together. They travel to the island of Jangsado, which is 1.9 kilometers in length and located west of the southern part of Geoje Island. The island’s name derives from its resemblance to a snake. Go up the stairs to the observatory to view the vast sea and natural scenery full of green colors. Jangsado has a variety of flora, but is particularly famous for its red camellia, which are beautiful in full bloom. The first place Do Min-jun and Cheon Song-yi visit on the island is Camellia Path. The green tunnel and red of flowers are romantic to walk through, with fallen petals resting on the ground below. This is the place where Do Min-jun proposes to Cheon Song-yi.
Jang, the lawyer, reads a newspaper article about a meteorite at Dal.koom Coffee, a franchise coffee chain. In Korean, dal.koom means sweet.
Dal.koom Coffee has hosted a variety of star events and drama filming. It has hosted events for actor Daniel Henney and K-pop groups like the Boys Republic and A-JAX. Dal.koom currently operates 50 chains in areas like Gangnam, Apgujeong, Daehangno, and Time Square. This scene from My Love from the Star was filmed at the Geopo branch in Gimpo.