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Korean TV Drama print

The first episode of Stairway to Heaven aired on February 5, 2004. A total of 20 episodes aired every Wednesday and Thursday night at 10 p.m. on SBS. This drama quickly became known as one that could bring on laughter and tears, pulling at viewers’ heartstrings every time they watched. This TV miniseries was extremely well-received by audiences. Lead actress, Choi Ji-woo’s immense popularity with young female audiences, along with a wonderful storyline have kept people talking long after the final episode aired.

Stairway to Heaven captured viewers’ attention with passionate performances combined with movie-like qualities. Many viewers would be surprised to learn that the scenes of Han Tae-hwa as a child are actually played by Han yu-ri’s real-life younger brother.
[Show Information]

Director: Lee Jang-su (이장수)
Actors: Kwon Sang-woo, Choi Ji-woo, Shin Hyeon-joon, Kim Tae-hee
Broadcasting Company and Airing Period: SBS / December 3, 2003- February 5, 2004
Homepage: (Korean)
Song-ju (played by Kwon Sang-woo) and Jeong-seo (played by Choi Ji-woo) grew up together as close friends. Their parents' close relationship gave them the feeling of being brother and sister as youngsters. As the only son of a wealthy executive of Global Group, Song-ju went abroad to study management. Before leaving, the two childhood friends exchanged necklaces.

After suddenly losing his wife to illness, Jeong-seo’s father remarries Tae Mi-ra. For no reason, Mi-ra’s daughter Yu-ri seems to dislike Jeong-seo from the very beginning and is often cruel to her. During this time of cruel treatment, Jeong-seo is in a serious car accident, resulting in memory loss.

She remembers nothing of her childhood friend, Song-ju and is unexpectedly reunited with him. The four young main characters Cha Song-ju, Han Jeong-seo, Han Tae-hwa, and Han Yu-ri all have different ways of expressing love, making each character unique. The show incorporates the beauty and sadness of love set in beautiful filming locations with a sweet, mellow soundtrack.
[Meet the Cast]

Cha Song-ju (Kwon Sangwoo) – More on actor Kwon Sangwoo

Managing department stores, theme parks and more, Cha Song-ja’s character is a skilled businessman. While his true love and talent lie in playing the piano, being the only son a top executive left him no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps, leaving the piano merely as a hobby. Infatuated with Jeong-seo, he only plays for her.

The two have many similarities; both are left-handed, have the same blood type, and enjoy theme parks. Moreover, the two seem to have telepathy; when one is in pain the other also feels some kind of pain.

Han Jeong-seo (Choi Ji Woo) – More on actress Choi Ji-woo

Han Jeong-seo is the only daughter of Han Gyo-su, who is in the field of construction. Jeong-seo has dreams of being a pianist, but ends up working at Global Group. Her mother dies suddenly and her once simple yet happy home life becomes a distant memory.
Circumstances beyond her control lead her to hide her illness from others and continue to put others first; her kind-natured character always shining through. Difficulties at home with her stepmother and cruel treatment from her stepsister create an environment that makes her bear the burden of her illness alone. Jeong-seo has a gentle exterior, but a tough spirit. She loves only Song-ju and waits for him.

Han Tae-hwa (Shin Hyeon-joon) –

Han Tae-hwa is Tae Mi-ra’s son, Yu-ri’s older brother, and most recently Jeong-seo’s stepbrother who is working as an artist. Tae-hwa takes little interest in others. His quiet, introverted nature adds to his mystique and makes his rugged appearance that much more attractive. He is highly self-conscious and has a tendency to approach a tough situation with a fist rather than with words, yet he is highly sympathetic.
His life is filled with hatred towards the mother that abandoned him, Tae Mi-ra. He has the sad fortune of falling in love with Jeong-seo, who becomes forbidden fruit as his stepsister.

Han Yu-ri (Kim Tae Hee) – More on actress Kim Tae Hee

As the daughter of Tae Mi-ri, sister of Tae-hwa and stepsister of Jeong-seo, Han yu-ri is works as a director at Global Group. She graduated with a master’s degree in management from New York University. Yu-ri’s charming and beautiful appearance masks a two-faced girl who is out to get what she wants at any cost.

She can’t stand Jeong-seo, who is in the way of her getting the man that she wants, Song-ju. There is nothing stopping her evil nature.

[Filming Locations]
Lotte World-Click here for more information on Lotte World
This is where Song-ju and Jeong-seo played as children and rode the carousel. One floor below the carousel is the ice rink where they skated in one scene. As an adult, Tae-hwa paints a mural next to the carousel. This spot was often used as a backdrop for filming Stairway to Heaven, making it memorable to fans.
The rides located in the outer portion of Lotte World were used in the scene where Song-ju and Jeong-seo are on a date.
Muuido-Click here for more information on Muuido
As a child, Jeong-seo lived here with her father.
Missing his deceased wife, her father made this home. One of the most famous scenes from the show is when Song-ju plays the piano on the beach. The scene where Jeong-seo and Song-ju roll up their pants and walk along the beach during low tide was also filmed on the island of Muuido.
This is the café where Han Yu-ri and her mother Tae Mi-ra are always plotting some evil plan. They think of many ways to separate Jeong-seo and Song-ju here.

The interior of this Italian café (which specializies in espresso) is designed in a remarkably cozy way. Scenes were filmed at the PASCUCCU in Apgujung, which was sensibly designed in black, white, and red.

Inquiries: +82-2—546-8407
Hours: 9:00 am ~ 2:00 am
Location: On Rodeo Drive in Apgujeong-dong.
Save Zone (shopping mall)
Jeong-seo takes care of a shop at Namdaemun Market, while Song-ju is responsible for a new store at a shopping mall. This is where Jeong-seo first meets Song-ju. Just by chance, Song-ju sees Jeong-seo in the shopping mall. Song-ju is running all around Save Zone when they just miss running into each other.

Inquiries: +82-31-978-9000/
Website: (Korean)
How to get there: Take subway line 3 and get off at Hwajeong Station. Go out exit No. 2.
[Stairway to Heaven Photo Gallery ]
* The pictures above are provided by SBS.

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