Seoul Street Photography vol.2

Taichi August
8 min readMay 30, 2023

As a record of my trip to Seoul for 4 days and 3 nights, I am now posting photos and text, mainly street snapshots of Seoul.

This article is the second part. If you like, you can also read the first part.

Day3

Seoul Street Photography

On the third day, I started exploring the city from around 8:00 a.m. I was still feeling tired from walking around all day long in an unfamiliar environment with heavy luggage on Day2. Still, Day 3 was practically the last day of the trip, so I got up off my heavy back and headed out. Strangely enough, once I got out, I started to enjoy myself, and I felt energized to walk around.

There were many beautiful alleys near the inn. At night, there were cigarette butts everywhere, as if the area was a drinking district, and the area had a distinctive smell. I would like to see something done about cigarette littering and smoking on the streets.

Walking around a district with many tool shops

The district I was walking through happened to be full of tool stores, and I saw many stores preparing to start opening, surrounded by a large amount of tools.

Incidentally, I later heard from a Korean friend that there is a tool shop in this area that once built and launched a satellite or something. It was an interesting area where I could find a lot of interesting stores if I explore more.

Burnt Seoul

Great Location

To replenish my energy, I had breakfast at a cafe called Burnt Seoul. I ordered a latte and chocolate cake.

Both floors are quite spacious and tastefully decorated. Both floors were quite spacious and tastefully decorated. A luxurious morning.

No one in the morning in spite of such a large space

Despite the spaciousness of the space, there were no customers, and I was able to spend a truly relaxing time. When I looked at the cafe from outside in the evening, it was quite crowded with customers, so I think I was lucky with the time of day I happened to visit.

Gwangjang Market

There seemed to be something interesting, so I took a side street to Gwangjang Market. I found a large amount of clothing for sale. However, I had the impression that the clothing stores were not so crowded at this time of the day.

Quite a big market. Lots of clothes and cloths.

As I walked toward the direction where I thought people might be, looking at the clothing stores, I found myself in an open space that looked like a market. In addition to fish and other fresh foods being sold, I also saw a large number of stalls where people could eat and drink casually, as shown in the photo.

Everyone was eating a variety of foods with gusto in the morning, and I had a feeling that there were quite a few locals as well.

Food stalls were crowded with people eating from morning

DDP Dongdaemun Design Plaza

There was some architecture I wanted to see, so after leaving the market, I moved down the main street to a design plaza called DDP.

As you can see, it has a modern art-like atmosphere all over it.

Futuristic architecture

The building was quite large, with a design building and an art building. The volume of contents was large and looked like it would be quite enjoyable.

Substantial media art exhibits

I got the impression that there was a lot of emphasis on media art exhibitions.

I did not stay there too long, but after I had enjoyed the whole area, I took the metro to go to another architecture I was interested in in Seoul.

Starfield Library

I went to Starfield Library, a library located in a shopping mall called COEX, and as you can see, it looks very SNS-worthy.

A well-lit space that makes you want to read books.
A few people studying here and there.

The way the light comes in is very pleasant and makes you want to read while drinking a cup of coffee. In reality, however, there were too many tourists coming here to take pictures, and the people studying seemed to have a hard time concentrating.

Vegan lunch

For lunch, I ordered a falafel and hummus plate at a restaurant called Hummus Kitchen in COEX. So far, I have yet to eat Korean food. The falafel was a bit dry, but the hummus and the large amount of vegetables were really good. The food was so generous that I gobbled it down unintentionally even though it was a vegetable.

Standard System

After walking around COEX, I wanted to have a good cup of coffee, so I walked to a cafe that was relatively close (although it was more than 1 km away).

Healthy Uncle
Everywhere you go in Seoul, there are hills.

After all, it is fun to walk while feeling the atmosphere of the city. It is a real pleasure to use all my senses, not only the sights, but also the sounds and smells, to get around.

As an aside, I usually do not wear earphones while traveling, even in Japan. Especially in an unfamiliar city, I think there is a sense of atmosphere that I cannot feel when I wear earphones. I like to enjoy the environmental sounds of the city.

Stylish store interior

I went to a specialty coffee shop called Standard System. The counter is sharp, with silver as the base color, and the uniforms of the staff are all black. People of all ages and genders, men and women, were enjoying conversation.

Uniforms are all black.
Colombian Pink Bourbon

The level of coffee was quite high. I ordered a Pink Bourbon, which had a great balance of sweetness and acidity. I wondered whether I should buy beans, but decided not to this time.

I ordered an iced coffee because it was hot, but if I have a chance, I would like to try a hot pour-over coffee next time.

Meeting a friend

After taking a break for coffee, I didn’t want to move. However, I moved to Seoul Station.

On this trip, I had an appointment to meet a friend at the Seoul station. He seemed to be quite busy with work, and we ended up only having dinner together. Anyway, Imet up with him without incident.

He told me that this is the old Seoul Station.
It seemed to be a Buddha-related anniversary, and there was a Buddha Parade-like event going on.
A scene in the evening

My friend is also a fellow photographer, so we walked around and took pictures as we went, and had dinner (Korean food) at a restaurant near Burnt Seoul, which I visited in the morning.

We had a cup of coffee after dinner at Bonanza Coffee
Ordering a Diet Coke at a random pub

After coffee at a cafe after dinner, we relaxed at a pub and talked about the past and present. He is a friend, a fellow photographer, and a senior student of mine, and he is now working as a researcher in a company after returning to Korea after obtaining a PhD from a Japanese university.

I learned a lot from our informal conversation and from hearing many things I did not know about the Korean way of working and thinking about one’s career. Incidentally, Korea’s economy is also changing, and unlike Japan, salaries in Korea have risen considerably over the past few decades, and the idea of retirement is almost non-existent anymore. It was a good opportunity to learn about the difference between Korea and Japan.

Day4

Departure

Perfect breakfast (about 1,000 yen)

I took very few pictures on the last day because I was only heading to the airport early in the morning, but the breakfast I had at the airport was quite sumptuous. I think Korea has many quality restaurants, even at airports and train stations.

So, like that, I left Seoul before noon and return to Kansai International Airport at about 2:30 PM. I watched the last episode of the Netflix Korean drama “The World of the Married” on the plane on the way home, which left me with a slightly bad aftertaste. However, the trip was satisfying enough to drown out any such mood.

I would like to go on another trip if I have the chance.

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