Located in Hwayang-ri, Dong-eup: Assortment of Tourist Attractions
The Park Elevates the Status of Changwon as the First and Largest Persimmon Plantation
Changwon is the first place where persimmons were grown in Korea, and it is also the largest persimmon plantation in the country. A park celebrating the culture opened recently, under the name Changwon Persimmon Theme Park (Persimmon Park).
Persimmon Park is located in 670-1 Hwayang-ri, Dong-eup, Euichang-gu in Changwon. With the beautiful natural environment of Dong-eup in the backdrop the park features promotions hall, experiential facilities, persimmon orchard, traditional houses, and an observation tower.
At the entrance of Persimmon Park, a cute-looking character of a girl greets the visitors while holding a persimmon and sitting on a pot. The bright and familiar image of the character draws much attention. After walking across the parking lot, two large persimmon sculptures representing the status of Changwon persimmons sit on the rooftop of the promotional hall building, looking comfortable like a mother and her son. In front of the building, a century-old persimmon tree that was donated by a persimmon orchard shows off its beauty. Around the building are many traditional pottery that enhances the atmosphere of the traditional house and emphasizing historical nature of the site.
At the entrance of the theme park featuring a sunflower garden, the promotions hall stands to provide information on Persimmon Park and the history of persimmon in Changwon. In the back of the promotions hall, a short trail with small sculptures and a pond, as well as a persimmon vinegar farm, and a grass square, is located.
The persimmon vinegar farm features hundreds of pottery. The grass square hosts a large deck stage, a persimmon swing, and pinwheel sculptures that provide entertainment to visitors to the park. Beyond the grass square, a small cafeteria housed under a thatched roof, as well as traditional pavilions and a bathroom, is located. Around the area are folk game zone, small animal farm, large water mill, and a pond.
Past the park and experiential facilities are a persimmon orchard with hundreds of trees. The observation deck has binoculars that oversee the beautiful scenery of Junamho Lake.
City Organized 62.5 Kilometers in Pilgrimage Trail: Connections to Stay-Oriented Tourism
The city administration developed Rev. Ju Gi-cheol Pilgrimage Trail Course, which connects Rev. Ju Gi-cheol Memorial and Rev. Son Yang-won Memorial. Rev. Ju (b. November 25, 1897 – d. April 21, 1944) is a historical figure in Korean Protestantism who kept his faith despite imperial Japan torturing him for his opposition to worship at Japanese shinto shrines. He is also considered a martyr.
The pilgrimage trail begins at Rev. Ju Gi-cheol Memorial located in Nammun-dong, Jinhae-gu, and continues for 62.5 kilometers to Ungcheon Elementary School, Ungcheon Church, 120 Year Memorial for Mission Gyeongnam Region, Masan Munchang Church, and Rev. Son Yang-won Memorial and his house.
<Photo> Rev. Ju Gi-cheol Memorial.
The city organized the course for more than visual tourism: the trail is a place to experience and feel the life of the reverend. First, Rev. Ju’s aphorism, “Absolute Determination” will be commercialized in the form of frames, towels, and cross necklaces. In addition, miniature sculptures representing the pilgrimage trail will be installed in front of the Rev. Ju’s memorial hall, along with a model of Cross Rock at Muhaksan Mountain, where the reverend prayed every night when he conducted mission at Masan Munchang Church. The sites will be provided as a space to pray and reflect on the suffering of the reverend.
In addition, a stamp relay event for children and youth tourists will be conducted to add fun elements to the course, and stay-oriented tourism course connecting pilgrimage and tourism will be planned as well.
Top Notch Taste and Flavor: Steamed Anglerfish Also Selected
Warty Sea Squirt Bibimbap was selected as a representative cuisine of Changwon. Warty sea squirt is a specialty of the city, with seventy percent of its national production concentrated in Changwon.
In order to promote consumption of Changwon specialty foods and vitalize food tourism, the city hosted a tasting and judging event for representative cuisine in Changwon. The highlight of the day was warty sea squirt bibimbap, which the participants did not spare compliments. The general consensus was that the dish retained the wonderful fragrance of the ocean and a top notch texture.
<Photo> Warty sea squirt bibimbap, recently selected as Changwon’s representative foods.
The recipe for warty sea squirt bibimbap is simple. An adequate amount of processed warty sea squirt is poured over a bowl of rice, adding sliced dried seaweed and sesame oil.
The event also featured Korean pancakes, rice porridge, and other side dish made with warty sea squirt. The warty sea squirt rice porridge that retained the flavor of the ingredient was favorably received, and the participants also tasted salmon roll with warty sea squirt.
Mayor An commented that warty sea squirt bibimbap is a proud product of Changwon worthy of global attention. He said that the cuisine has better taste and flavor than sea urchin bibimbap, and is perfect to be called the representative food of Changwon.
The city formed a committee to select its representative cuisine, and conducted a survey to select steamed anglerfish and warty sea squirt bibimbap as its representative food, which will be managed with special attention.
<Photo> Steamed anglerfish, recently selected as Changwon’s representative foods.
City Opens a Museum Exposing Japanese Empire’s Atrocities in October
The Masan Military Police Detachment building in Changwon will be renovated as a space of historical education exposing the atrocities committed by the imperial Japan in the early twentieth century.
Located at the March 15th Avenue (Wolnam-dong) in Masanhappo-gu, the Masan Military Police Detachment building will be renovated as a history museum and opened in October.
The city administration will spend KRW 300 million to exhibit historical records displaying the crimes by imperial Japan, as well as a model of interrogation room where independence movement workers were tortured.
The city is now accepting donations of historical artifacts related to the Japanese occupation of Korea in early twentieth century. Donated artifacts, if selected after the evaluation of experts, will be displayed at the museum with the donors’ name.
The Masan Military Police Detachment (1 basement floor and ground floor) is the only Japanese military police detachment building remaining in Korea, and was built in 1926. Eight Japanese military policemen worked in the building at the time to oppress the Korean people and torture independence movement workers. the Cultural Heritage Administration designated the building as a Registered Heritage No. 198 in September 2005.
<Photo> Masan Military Police Detachment, located in Wolnam-dong, Masanhappo-gu, Changwon.
City Agrees to Build a Culture Complex Town with a Large Entertainment Company
The city plans to lead the Korean Wave Tourism with a large Korean entertainment company. Palryong-dong in Euichang-gu will be the home of Changwon Culture Complex Town featuring a K-pop performance hall and a Korean Wave studio. The culture complex, to be operated by a world-class entertainment company specializing in Korean Wave contents, will feature four basement floors and nine over-ground floors, which is three times larger than a culture town operated by another entertainment company in Seoul. Changwon’s new culture complex is expected to attract Korean Wave tourists to Yeongnam Region.
The entertainment company will form a consortium with construction companies to invest KRW 101 billion in vicinity of Changwon Bus Terminal and build a Culture Complex Town and a public parking lot (capable of holding 506 vehicles) by early 2020. The facilities will be donated to the city.
The first basement floor will be made into a retail shop utilizing celebrity marketing, and a Korean Wave Studio and retail stores will be hosted on floors one to three. Fourth and fifth floor will have a K-pop hologram performance hall that can seat eight hundred forty people, and sixth and seventh floors will host a convention center. Eighth and ninth floors will house a boutique hotel with twenty-five rooms.
Once the culture complex is completed, the city and the entertainment company plans to operate “K-pop Tour Package” under which foreign and domestic tourists and experience Korean Wave and Changwon. In addition, the two parties will support talent search and training in connection with K-Pop World Festival held in Changwon every fall.
Various Courses and Themes for Vacationers
“Spend your summer vacation in Changwon!”
The city recently developed various themed tourism courses for summer vacation season in order to attract more tourists to the city.
In order to provide customized tourism information to visitors, the city planned various themed tour courses. Day courses include stream course, beach course, eating course, and marine sports course. The stream course includes Naeseogamcheongol Stream, Seongjusa Temple, Dalcheon Stream (Dalcheon Stream Campsite), and Junamho Lake. In the beach course, tourists can enjoy Jeodo Bridge, Jubok Art Village, Marine TV Drama Set, Machangdaegyo Bridge, and Samgui Beach.
The most important element of travelling is the food. Eating course leads tourists to Changdong Art Village, Burim Market, and Anglerfish Street, Grilled Eel Street, Raw Fish Street, and Bamboo Liquor Street. Marine Sports Course is composed of a visit to Jinhaeru Pavilion, experiencing marine sports (canoe, kayak), and a visit to Sokcheon Raw Fish Town.
Next are two-day trip courses. For tourists who wish to make many memories, the city offers four themed courses: “Romantic Arts Trip,” “Healing Trip,” “Beautiful Ocean and Jinhae Naval Station History Trail,” and “Moonlight Starlight Auto Camping Site” are the courses. The Romantic Arts Trip is perfect for people seeking to enjoy Changwon as the “city of arts.” The course leads tourists to Munsin Art Museum, Gagopa Winding Trail, Sangsang-gil, Changdong Art Village, Burim Creative Crafts Village (Youth Mall), Masan Fish Market (Accommodation), Masan Literary Museum, Masan Music Museum, Gubok Art Village, Jeodo Village, and Marine TV Drama Set.
For family tourists, the city recommends Moonlight Starlight Auto Camp Site course, in which the beauty of night sky in countryside encapsulate the visitors. The course includes visits to Samnuri Village, Ochehyang Village, Dalcheon Stream Auto Camping Site (Accommodation), Cheonjusan Mountain (Cypress Forest, Chunjusan Nuri-gil Trail), Bukmyeon Mageumsan Hot Spring, and Naegok Goblin Forest.
The city is engaging in promotions campaign for such customized tour courses for visitors, using city tourism blogs, social media pages, and other online platforms.