Sunchang is located 40 kilometers away from Gwangju in Jeollabuk-do Province. Sunchang is famous for gochujang in Korea, and its name is easily associated with this red chili paste condiment. Sunchang has optimal climatic conditions for the growth of a particular strain of yeast that plays a critical role in the flavors of fermented foods. Also, the gochujang masters who have succeeded in the time-honored tradition of fermentation live in Sunchang and add their skills in producing Sunchang gochujang.
It is said that Taejo Yi Seong-gye (1335-1408), the founder of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), had a delicious lunch with gochujang in Sunchang when he was a child. Upon returning to the palace, he couldn’t forget the taste, so he had the gochujang donated to the palace. As such, Sunchang gochujang enjoys a long history.
- About the Village
Sunchang Traditional Gochujang Village is a man-made village featuring hanok houses lined in neat order along well-paved roads. The village was established in 1997 by bringing together gochujang masters who had been dispersed throughout the Sunchang area. The village, which took three years to complete, aims to hand down the traditional production method and reputation of Sunchang gochujang. Today, 149 residents live in 46 households. Toward the end of August and in accordance with the lunar calendar, the meju (soy bean blocks) are made by mixing soy bean with nonglutinous rice. After about four weeks of fermentation, the blocks are used for making gochujang in the winter of the same year. After letting the mixture age naturally for a period of six months to a year, the gochujang ripens.
The houses in the village are common family homes, but at the same time, they are shops selling gochujang and jangajji (Korean pickles of vegetables or fish, preserved in soy sauce, soy bean paste, or gochujang) produced by the gochujang masters. Inside the shops, one will find big onggi earthen pots and stands of gochujang, soybean paste, and pickled yellow corvinas. As you walk through traditional hanok homes set against a rural backdrop, you will see traditional onggi wares occupying a corner of each home and meju blocks hanging below the roof. Most homes keep their gates wide open for visitors to come in to look around the house and see them at work.
Go to Sunchang Gochujang Village
Address: Jeollabuk-do Sunchang-gun Sunchang-eup Baeksan-ri 265-64
Related Featival: Sunchang Fermented Soybean Festival
- Sunchang Fermented Sauces Experience Center
As you walk from the village entrance towards the Gangcheonsan County Park, you will find the Sunchang Fermented Sauces Experience Center. Here, you can learn more about Sunchang gochujang through various hands-on programs. There are four programs offered: making Sunchang gochujang, cooking food with fermented condiments (traditional condiments based on fermented soybean blocks), making injeolmi (rice cake dressed with bean flour), and making traditional twibap (puffed crisp cookie made of rice). At the indoor learning center, visitors can learn how to make gochujang by mixing red chili powder and meju powder in the right proportions, as well as how to make gochujang pizza and other well-being foods. The outdoor learning center, which gives a view of the Gochujang Village, is where visitors make injeolmi and twibap. This is a rare opportunity to experience the time-honored Korean tradition of pounding rice dough and using a twibap machine. Those who sign up for the hands-on programs can use the accommodation facilities at the center. The large and clean rooms are available at affordable rates.
Sunchang Fermented Sauces Experience Center
Address: Jeollabuk-do Sunchang-gun Sunchang-eup Baeksan-ri 265-49
||Experience Fee (per person)
|Sunchang gochujang making
||General (ages over 14): 24,000 won
Children (ages 4 - 14): 14,000 won
||10-19 people: 21,000 won
20-29 people: 20,000 won
30-39 people: 19,000 won
Over 40 people: 18,000 won
|Cooking food with fermented condiments
|Injeolmi (rice cake dressed with bean flour) making
|Traditional twibap (puffed crisp cookie made of rice) making
* The fee is inclusive of all four programs.
* A minimum of 10 persons required.
||Can add up to 1 person
||Can add up to 2 people
|Large ondol rooms
||Can add up to 5 people
* Accommodation is available only to those who sign up for the hands-on programs.
* A charge of 5,000 won per person is charged for any additional persons.
* Check in: 16:00 / Check out: 12:00
- Sunchang Jangryu Museum
After visiting the village, make sure to stop by the Sunchang Jangryu (fermented condiments) Museum. This is the first museum dedicated to Korea’s fermented condiments. It features a permanent exhibition on gochujang and soybean paste, a special exhibition on local cultural heritage, and an outdoor plaza. The permanent exhibition hall has materials on the history and production method of fermented condiments, a room to observe the fermentation process, containers used to store fermented condiments, and an animation theater.
Sunchang Jangryu Museum
Address: Jeollabuk-do Sunchang-gun Sunchang-eup Baeksan-ri 263
Hours : 09:00 - 18:00 (March - October), 09:00 - 17:00 (November - February)
Closed on Mondays, New Year, and other days recognized by the County Mayor.
Seoul -> Sunchang
Take a bus from Central City Terminal to Sunchang Bus Terminal / bus departs 5 times a day (09:30, 10:30, 13:30, 14:45, 16:10) / travel time: 3 hrs 30 mins / 16,000 won
* Take a county bus or taxi from Sunchang Bus Terminal to Sunchang Gochujang Village.
Accommodations in Sunchang: tour.sunchang.go.kr
(Korean, English, Japanese)
1330 tt call center: +82-63-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Sunchang Fermented Sauces Experience Center: www.janghada.com
Gangcheon Pension: www.gcpension.com/body4_1.php
Gangcheonsna Farm Pension: www.kangchunsan.com/index.asp
Pensiontel Boom: : http://t21105.cafe24.com
Gangcheonsan Sanmolongi: www.cyworld.com/newhorizons
Traditional Gochujang Village: http://sunchang.invil.org/
Sunchang Tourism Website: http://tour.sunchang.go.kr/index.sko (Korean, English, Japanese)
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