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Slow City print


At the International Cittaslow Meeting in Perth Scotland (November 2010), Korea’s northeast city of Namyangju joined the nation’s ranks of “slow cities,” becoming the seventh city in Korea to be given this honorable designation. Joan-myeon in particular, a village in Namyangju that is situated along the banks of the Bukhanggang River, received high marks for its local communities, eco-friendly and organic farming, natural environment, traditional culture, and well-managed fisheries. Namyangju-si is the only Slow City located in the metropolitan area and is easily accessible via the Jungang subway line. Each of the twelve villages in Namyangju is known for a different local treasure, which ranges from lotus fields to cultural heritages.


Local specialties

Meokgolbae pear (먹골배)
Just take one bite of a crispy and juicy Meokgolbae pear and you’ll see why this refreshing fruit is considered one of Namyangju’s major local specialties. The pears are grown at 500 local farms—with a total annual production of more than 10,000 tons of fruit—and are shipped around the world. Meokgolbae pears can be found on supermarket shelves in the USA, Japan, Canada, France, Taiwan, and Europe and have been a major local export since the year 1997.

Gorosoe sap from maple tree (고로쇠 수액)
Gorosoe sap is known to be effective in treating and easing the symptoms of high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, geriatric diseases, and fatigue. This high-quality sap is extracted between late February and late March from a type of painted maple tree that grows at an altitude of 600 meters or more. Believe it or not, the sap is also high in calcium!

Organic vegetables
Organic vegetables grown in Namyangju are grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers, which accounts for their extremely fresh, clean taste. Veggies are grown using fresh water from a protected water source and, as a result, are said to bring extra health benefits to consumers.


Tourist sites


Dasan Historical Site

Located in Neungnae-ri, Joan-myeon, Dasan Historical Site is the birthplace of Dasan Jung Yak-yong (1762~1836) who was a noted scholar of the late Joseon Dynasty. He is especially remembered for fighting against corruption in the political circle and for living a frugal life. The site consists of his birthplace (Yeoyudang), his tomb, the Dasan Memorial Hall (highlighting his major achievements), and the Dasan Cultural Hall (a retrospective of his life from a modern perspective).
More info on Dasan Chodang (Dasan Jeong Yak-yong historical site)


Namyangju Studio Complex

Namyangju Studio Complex is often referred to as the “Universal Studios of Korea.” The complex houses an outdoor set of approximately 100,000 square meters on a land spanning 1.3 million square meters. Facilities include traditional hanok houses, a courthouse, and indoor filming sets. Korean movie buffs may recognize filming locations from major films like Seopyeonje, Shiri, and Joint Security Area. 
More info on Namyangju Studios


Hongyureung Royal Tombs

Hongyureung is comprised of Hongneung and Yureung tombs and, along with 40 royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty, is inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Hongneung is the tomb of Empress Myeongseong (1851-1895) and Emperor Gojon (1863-1907, the 26th ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, in power 1852-1919). Yureung is the final resting place of Sunjong (1874-1926, the 27th and last ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, in power 1907-1910) and his queens.
More info on Hongneung / Yureung [UNESCO World Heritage]
Related Columns:
- The 40 Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
- A Trip to Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty


Gwangneung Royal Tomb

Gwangneung is the royal tomb of Sejo (1417-1468, in power 1455-1468), the 7th king of Joseon Dynasty, and Queen Jeonghuiwanghu (1418-1483). Not just an attraction for history lovers, the tomb is surrounded by a thick forest that is a natural habitat for the local wildlife. The Gwangneung tomb is one of the 40 royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty that were inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List.
More info on Gwangneung [UNESCO World Heritage]
Related Columns:
- The 40 Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
- A Trip to Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty


Arachnopia (JooPil Spider Museum)

Established by Dr. Kim Joo-pil in 2004, Arachnopia is a museum that celebrates one of nature’s overlooked creatures: the spider. The museum has on exhibit about 5,000 types of spider specimens and live spiders, as well as insect specimens and fossils. 
More info on Arachnopia (JooPil Spider Museum)


Mongolia Culture Town

More and more, Korea is becoming a truly globalized country, as evidenced by places like the Mongolia Culture Town. You’ll feel as if you’re venturing into Mongolia itself as you step inside the traditional tents (called “yurt”) to see a colorful array of clothes, traditional musical instruments, accessories, and Mongolian food. Enjoy the traditional music and dance performances by Mongolian folk arts troupes or take a taste of the Mongolian delicacies to immerse yourself in a whole new world.   
More info on Mongolia Culture Town



Dasan Cultural Festival
Held in October of every year, the Dasan Cultural Festival is a civic cultural festival held to honor the philosophy scholar Dasan Jeong Yak-yong. The festival features a calligraphy contest, literature contest, music concert, traditional games, and hands-on programs that help visitors understand the historical importance of this great spiritual scholar’s teachings.
Festival Homepage: (Korean)


Seoul → Namyangju
Take Jungang Subway Line (serving Yongsan, Oksu, Wangsimni, and other stops) → Get off at Ungilsan Station.

Travel Tip

* If you plan to visit Namyangju-si between March and October, take advantage of the Namyangju City Tour that runs on the second and fourth weekends of every month during this time. The bus makes stops at major tourist sites (Mongolia Culture Town, Dasan Historical Site, Gwangneung Arboretum, Hongyureung Royal Tombs, etc.) from 9.30am to 6pm and is a very convenient option for those using public transportation.

Namyangju City Tour
Departure: Donong Station (Jungang Subway Line)
Inquiries and reservations: 031-590-4241 (Korean, Namyangju City Hall)
1330 tt call center: +82-31-1330 (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
Namyangju Culture & Tourism Website: (Korean)


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