Upcoming excursions to Pocheon and Gunsan

Here is some information about upcoming excursions to Pocheon and Gunsan; note that the deadline for registration is today.

Pocheon Makgeoli Excursion
Date: Saturday, June 16, 2012 - 8:30am to 7:00pm
Destination: Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do
Cost: 75,000 won for members and 88,000 won for non-members
Tour Leader: Jennifer Flinn

The city of Pocheon in rural northeastern Gyeonggi Province has long been famous for its mineral spring waters which lend a unique taste to the locally produced makgeolli (unrefined rice alcohol), tofu, and kimchi. This food and drink-oriented day excursion will take a leisurely stroll through some of Pocheon’s most famous spots, including a chance to sample its potent potables.

We will begin by visiting Baesangmyeon Brewery and Gallery Sansawon, a museum attached to the brewery grounds and dedicated to Korea’s brewing culture. Our visit will include a two-hour hands-on makgeolli brewing class where we will have the chance to make our own, and a chance to sample a wide variety of liquors and foods produced by the brewery.

After spending the morning at Sansawon, we’ll head to lunch in the Idong area and stop by the local Idong Brewery, one of the most famous in Korea. Following lunch, we'll move on to Cheonju Lake and Pocheon Art Valley, a unique cultural space created out of an abandoned stone quarry.

For more information on the tour and on how to register for it, see here.

Old Gunsan: Exploring the Remains of Colonial Korea
Date: Sunday, June 17, 2012 - 8:00am to 8:00pm
Destination(s): Gunsan, North Jeolla Province
Cost: 60,000 won for members and 72,000 won for nonmembers.
Tour Leader: Robert Koehler

Once a small fishing village on Korea’s West Sea coast, Gunsan developed into one of Korea’s most important ports after it was opened to international trade in 1899. During the colonial era, Japanese traders, merchants and farmers settled en masse in Gunsan and the nearby Honam Plain, Korea’s most fertile agricultural region, and the city became especially important as the port of exit for Korean rice exports to mainland Japan. The Japanese left an indelible imprint on the city, and while the Japanese left following Korea’s liberation from colonial rule in 1945, their presence can still be felt in the city’s exotic historic architecture.

In this tour, we will visit some of Gunsan’s historic colonial architecture and learn a bit about Japanese colonial rule in Korea. The sites we will visit include the spectacular Japanese Edo-style temple of Dongguksa, founded in 1913 and Korea’s sole remaining Japanese temple that still functions as a Buddhist temple; the grand old Hirotsu House, a palatial wooden Japanese mansion featured in Korean period films and studied by both Korean and Japanese architecture scholars; old Gunsan Customs House; the old Bank of Choson Gunsan Branch Building, built in 1923 and for a time one of the largest buildings outside of Seoul; the newly opened Gunsan Modern History Museum; the old Kumamoto Villa, the French-designed summer home once belonging to one of the colonial era’s largest Japanese landlords; and the site of the old Shimatani Plantation, where venerable Korean stone pagodas and lanterns and an imposing old storage house stand testament to the colonial plundering of Korea’s cultural heritage. For lunch, we will have Chinese food at Binhaewon, a 60-year-old eatery near Gunsan’s old waterfront. Time permitting, we will also drop by Lee Sun Dang, Korea’s oldest continuously operating bakery.

The latter two stops can be seen halfway down this recent blog post by our guide, while more photos of Gunsan's colonial era architecture can be seen here and here. For more information on the tour and on how to register for it, see here.

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Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
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왕립아세아학회한국지부
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