How to get there:
The Soju Hof is located near Hongdae Station (Line 5/green), walking down the main street, as if you’re headed to the BBQ place I recommended the other time. But instead of passing by at the Etude House Shop, you take a turn right and then another turn right into the next narrow alleyway. There will be a building with an entrance showing into an elevator to your left (second or third building). Go up there, 4th floor (either elevator or by stairway), and you will find yourself surrounded by an awesome atmosphere.
A very nice, very trendy and cozy place with modern furniture, lots of miniature lights in the ceiling and AWESOME Strawberry Soju, you NEED to try. It’s really not expensive by western standards, and one of my favourite places in seoul. Thanks a lot to Kwan-jae who showed us this spot! ^^v
I will upload a picture if I manage to take one next time I go there!
How to get there:
Well, basically they are everywhere. Our most frequented one was in Myeongdong – couldn’t miss it located at the main street next to the apple store and Red Mango Frozen Yoghurt.
Baskin Robbins is known for their extravagant Icecream flavours, and I especially enjoyed Macha-(green tea)-flavour and Shooting Star the most.
As integrated korea-fans we also wouldn’t pass the opportunity to buy a cake on christmas eve around midnight. we got one featuring four different flavours, which tasted delicious.
What was even more exciting, was the Baskin Robbins Chocolate Fondue Set we got for Bigi’s 21st birthday. So much fun seeing the chocolate getting hard in seconds on the various cold iceballs in many many different flavours (mango, rainbow, mentol, chocolate, cheesecake, apple, vanilla,…). The set of fruits accompanying the fondue set rounded it up perfectly.
What to See:
Well basically the thing that most people are interested in visiting once their journey through Japan brought them to Hiroshima, is the Miyajima Shrine. It is mostly famous because of its location at a shore with high and low tides, which provoke the illusion that the shrine would be swimming on the water. You might know some of the shots of the big red torii (arch) standing in the water in front of a fantasylike scenario. Well, that’s the shrine’s entrance.
The shrine is completely open to the air, with beautiful bridge-like halleyways completely painted in the famous japanese color. If you can manage, you should try to spend time there during the (coming) high tide. Entrance for the shrine is ¥300 I think.
If you are already in Miyajima, don’t forget to try their local speciality: 紅葉まんじゅう(Momiji-manju). They are maple-leaf-formed pancakes with different fillings (red beans, green tea and sweet potato are delicious, but you can also try less traditional flavours like chocolate, cream, cheese, blueberry, pear and banana).
How to get there:
Miyajima Jinja is located on an Island about one hour away from Hiroshima City. You can take the streetcar number 5 starting from Hiroshima, and get off at the last station. Then you board one of the ferry boats, which bring you to Miyajima Island. Just follow straight with all the tourist, passing by an alleyway full of deers who will be approaching you and let you touch them (if you dare, haha).
A one day pass including the ferry and the streetcar is about ¥800.
Getting from one place to the other shouldn’t be any problem in Japan; there are thousands of trains, planes and busses daily from any place to any other place, so the hard task would be to figure out which one is the most convenient for yourself.
Basically Kathi and I decided it would be a good idea trying travelling by night bus. There are two good things about night busses:
1. You don’t lose any time at day, since you are travelling at night
2. You get very comfortably from city to city
3. You save yourself one night you would have to play for
4. You have no weight limits on your luggage
5. It’s actually pretty cheap
I can only tell you about the routes I took the night bus for, and I would hardly recommend anyone to take anything except the night bus. Obvisously, the Shinkansen is super expensive, and the planes have limitation on weight and the whole procedure getting you to Narita/Gimpo is just tiring.
We used the Willerexpress for the routes Osaka -> Tokyo (twice), Tokyo -> Hiroshima & Hiroshima -> Osaka
You only need to register, fill out the forms and decide on which bus you want to take. The prices are quite reasonable (Osaka -> Tokyo was ¥4,000, Tokyo -> Hiroshima about ¥70,000) and the busses super comfortable with extremely wide seats and any facilities you could need. Only thing is that your suitcase might be stored next to the engine, so try to keep any chocolates and food in your handluggage to prevent them from getting wasted.
Jjajamyun (짜장면) – Cold Bean Noodles
How to get there
Since Jjajamyun is a very typical Korean National Dish you can get it basically everywhere. But if you happen to be in Myeongdong, you shouldn’t miss the chance to try out my favourite Jjajamyun place. Exit the Subway Station on Exit 4 and keep walking straight, past the bank, until you see many restaurants lining up on your left side. You will see to places for Jjajamyeong, but don’t be mistaken and enter the one on the right. You will love it.
Jjajamyun - 짜장면 – is all about the sauce. IT is usually this awkward looking black bean sauce, lots of cooked onions, vegetables, chicken and whatever the chef decided to add. All on top of a mountain of sticky spaghetti-ish kind of pasta. I liked it very much, cause it kept me satisfied and full of energy for the rest of the day. As for korean traditional food, it has to be my favourite!
Lotte World – Lotte Adventure Park
How to get there
Get off the subway at Jamsil Station (line 2 or 8). Lotte World is basically kind of far away (it will take you about 30minutes to 1,5hours, so keep in might that you might wanna stand up early to get the best out of your visit at Lotte World). At the subway there are directions to getting to Lotte World. Basically all you need is to get to the Lotte Department Store, and then don’t go in but walk past it on the right side and follow the long corridor (with small shops to your left) until you reach some kind of plaza on your left side. Walk through the plaza and you will find the entrance to Lotte World.
Lotte World was well worth the W40,000 entrance fee. We went there on a rainy kind of day in winter, but it was still a very comfortable day since the main part of Lotte World is inside (world’s biggest indoor park!). I loved the christmas themed parade, riding the balloons and especially enjoyed the big rollercoaster in the outside part of the park. But you may feel lonely since most of the teenagers/young people that go there, use Lotte as some kind of dating ground, so there is an enormous amount of lovey-dovey couples going around.
Lotte World is one of the most famous locations for drama and variety show shootings, so you will most probably recognize some parts of it. Shows I know featuring Lotte World are: “B1A4 MTV Match up”, “Running Man”, “Stairway to Heaven” and many others.
Super Junior Kyuhyun, Leeteuk & Sungmin Cafe
How to get there
Ride the underground till Apujeong. Take Exit 2, and then just walk down the street (Roheo Street). Keep walking, pass S-Oil Petro and after about 10 minutes of walking you’ll see an Angel in-us Cafe located in a street to your right side. Cafe KONA is just next to the Angel in-us Cafe.
It was…fairly okay. The Hot Chocolate and Coffee weren’t anything extraordinarily tasty, but you can actually stop by at this cafe while stalking several korean kpop entertainments (such as SM, JYP & Open World Entertainment) since they are in the neighbourhood.
Hongdae – Luxury Karaoke
How to get there
If you have already tried the Korean BBQ (Self Bar BBQ) which I recommended, it is quite easy to find: Just cross the crossroads at the convenience store (last turn on the way to the BBQ) diagonally and you will see some kind of art-house. The karaoke is just to its right side (on the main street).
Other than that, if you have never been to the BBQ:
#1: Get off the Subway at Hongik University Station (Underground Line 2), Exit 9 and then turn into the street on your left side. Go past KFC, Dunkin Donuts, and the Dessous Store, then turn right (second street), and follow this street until Starbucks. Cross the road but keep to the left (Just like going to the Hello Kitty Cafe). But then just walk straight all the way until you see cars parked in the middle of the street. Keep walking until you cross the next street. Keep to the right side of the street and you’ll eventually see the Luxury Karaoke to your right side.
#2: Get off the Subway at Sangsu Station (Underground Line 6), Exit 2, and keep walking straight after that, down the street until you see a Dunkin Donuts. Turn in right, and keep walking straight. After about 5 Minutes it should appear on your left side.
Just like any other asian city, Seoul is cramped with Karaoke Bars (“Norae Bang”). But this one is actually super nice, clean and modern (they even have free wifi!), featuring rooms with windows and light-/sound-effects, and even the fares are quite reasonable. And if they notice you aren’t fluent in korean you even get an english explanation at the front desk.
Super Junior Yesungs Cafe: Händel & Gretel
How to get there
Get off the underground at Yeouido Station (Line 5 or 9), Exit 4. Then turn left and follow the large steel-thing till you reach the crosswalks. Cross both of them, and walk through the park. Pass the Basketball fields and then turn left on the street with the two-colored pathway (green and grey). Walk past the Toilets and the Convenience Store and you’ll be just there.
Hours of Operation:
Mon:1:00 pm – 12:00 am
Tue:10:00 am – 1:00 am
Wed:8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Thu:12:00 pm – 12:00 am
Fri:9:00 am – 1:00 am
Sat&Sun:12:00 pm – 12:00 am
If you are lucky (we weren’t), you can meet Yesung working there, mixing Hot Chocolates and stuff. But usually it’s just his mother and brother (who’s actually very handsome, too, haha). The prices are about the same as Starbucks, but it’s quite tasty, so it’s fine I guess, and the decoration of the Cafe is just adorable, so it may be worth a visit if you are a kpop fan, and a must-do if you are an Elf, of course!
All You Can Eat BBQ
How to get there
#1: Get off the subway at Hongik University Station (line 2), exit 9, and turn into the street on your left. Walk past KFC, Dunkin Donuts, and the Underwear Shop. Turn right and walk till you pass the Starbucks, cross the street an follow straight for about 10 minutes, till you cross another street. After some long time of walking you will eventually see a convenience store on the left side at a corner. Turn in left and you’ll see the Self Bar BBQ on your right side..
#2: Get off the subway at Sangsu Station (line 6), exit 2, and keep going straight. Turn right after you pass Dunkin Donuts, and then walk straight for about 5 minutes. Turn in right just after you pass a convenience store, and the Self Bar BBQ shoulr be to your right.
All You Can Eat BBQ is W9.900 (7€) till 4PM and W10.900 (7,80€) after that. Water if for free, but you can get about anything else too for very reasonable prices (1,5l of Cider is about W2000 (1,50€)). It’s super tasty and you have a lot of variety at the buffet so definitely worth going there! Don’t forget to use the spray for your clothes/hair at the exit, since you’ll be smelling like BBQ all over…^^v - It’s by far the cheapest and one of the best BBQs we found in Seoul.
Das Billigste und zugleich eines der Besten BBQs die wir gefunden haben