Drama Scenes Create Tourist Attractions

Paul Lee, Jan. 10, 2017, 9:46 a.m.

Current drama series on Korean TV boast scenic sets, from immortal goblin god Kim Shin’s majestic mansion in “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” to the marine cove where the mermaid Shimchung lives in “The Legend of the Blue Sea.” 

“Guardian”: Incheon, Duksung Women’s University 

Incheon, an hour’s car ride away from Seoul, is basking in the fame brought by the popular tvN series “Guardian” -- so much so that the port city plans to build a filming complex with studios and sets in 2020, the city government announced Monday.

A number of memorable scenes in the series feature the coastal city as a backdrop. 

In a flashback, the mother of female lead Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun) is seen dying on the Songdo Incheon Tower-Daero, which is enveloped in snow. Ji and Kim frequently meet at the Jayu Park located in Jung-gu, and it is at the Cheongna Lake Park where Kim confesses he was struck in the chest with a sword 900 years ago, transforming from a warrior into a goblin.

Scenes where Ji -- reluctant to go home to her hostile relatives -- eats dinner outside on the streets, are shot in Songhyeon-dong. When she is kidnapped at the end of the second episode, the goblin god goes to her rescue at the Incheon metropolitan landfill.
The city’s Seowoon High School provided the background for Ji’s classroom scenes, except for the library, which was shot at the Ssangmun campus of Duksung Women’s University in Seoul.

Goblin Kim’s estate is a historic building that dates back to the early 1900s located on the ground of Woonhyeongung Palace in Jongno. The building is now owned by Duksung Women’s University. Many scenes also feature the traditional Korean architecture of nearby neighborhoods Insa-dong and Samcheong-dong. 

“Blue Sea”: Jeju, Pocheon 

Scenes featuring the home of the female lead, a mermaid played by actress Jun Ji-hyun, in the SBS series “The Legend of the Blue Sea” were shot in Pocheon Art Valley in Gyeonggi Province. Once a granite quarry, the area became the nation’s first shared culture and art complex in 2009. In addition to the cavernous site featured in the drama series, the complex is home to an exhibition hall, a 4-D video room and an astronomical observation room. 

Jun and the male lead Lee Min-ho are also seen running around a green maze. The spot is Jeju Island’s Maze Land, a theme park boasting the world’s “longest stone maze” measuring roughly 5.3 kilometers in length, according to the Korea Tourism Organization. 

“Hwarang”: Danyang, Changwon

The KBS period piece “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth,” starring Park Seo-jun and Go Ara, is shot in prominent film sets featuring historical architecture around the country.

Several of the scenes were shot on the Danyang Ondal Open Film Set, which served as the background of a number of period pieces including “Empress Cheonchu” and “The Legend.” The drama was also shot at the Changwon Marine Drama Open Film Set, which comes complete with a blacksmith’s shop, a stable and other structures often seen in period dramas.

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