More than just a jazz festival on Jaraseom Island.
With fall heralding cooler temperatures and a change in color, some people might be looking for one final getaway before winter settles in around the country. One destination to check out in this respect is Jaraseom Island.
Home to the Jarasum International Jazz Festival every fall, Jaraseom is located in Bukhangang River in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, about an hour northeast of Seoul. Made up of four islands grouped together – Dongdo, Seodo, Jungdo and Namdo – the area is a treasure trove of outdoor attractions, including an ecosystem theme park, camping facilities, and even the filming location for popular drama series Iris.
Located on the westernmost tip of the Jaraseom campground is the theme park Ewhawon Nabi Story. It is divided into areas for subtropical and southern area plants, and includes themed gardens such as the Brazil Coffee Garden, Hadong Green Tea Garden, the Goheung Citron Garden, and the Pine Tree Forest. It also includes a butterfly ecology center, the largest butterfly park in the world. Visitors can see live specimens year-round thanks to the park’s warm house.
The park is open from 9am to 6pm from March to October and 9am to 5pm from November to February. Entry is KRW 3000 for adults, KRW 1500 for teens and KRW 1000 for children.
Even though there are many pensions and hotels located in the Jaraseom area, outdoorsy types can check out Jaraseom’s campground, which was home to the 2008 International Camping and Caravanning Rally. It is eco-friendly and the largest recreational site in the metropolitan area.
The site is open year round and offers several options for campsites, including caravan sites for RV campers and plots for the more traditional tents. During the off-peak season, a campsite is KRW 10,000 per day on weekdays and KRW 15,000 on weekends. During peak season, a site is KRW 15,000 for weekdays and KRW 15,000 on weekends. Check in is 2pm and check-out is 11am. Toiletries are not provided; however, for an additional fee, bedding and cutlery are.
Up for a bit of a thrill? There is a less conventional way to get to Jaraseom Island, though it is not for the faint of heart – zip-lining onto the island. Folks can climb to the top of an 80-meter tower and slide their way down to either Jaraseom or Namiseom Island. The ride usually lasts about a minute and 30 seconds and costs KRW 38,000.
The zip line to Jaraseom Island is open from 9am to 6pm, from April to November. It is closed every first and third Monday of the month or in the case of bad weather.
Another large, outdoor festival that takes place every year in the area is the Jaraseom Singsing Winter Festival, which happens in January. The fest features ice fishing, sledding, skating and just about any kind of wintertime fun one can think of. There are also ice sculptures, parades and vendors selling food, winter wear and fishing supplies to add to the festive atmosphere.
The main draw at the festival is, of course, trout fishing, with attendees able to eat the fish they catch right at the festival. Sashimi or grilled, visitors can eat it to their liking for a small additional fee.
Tickets for ice-fishing are KRW 13,000 at the venue and KRW 12,000 in advance. For additional fees, you can also buy tickets for bumper cars, sledding and ATV rides. More information can be found at the festival’s website. http://www.songeo.co.kr/
Getting to Jaraseom Island:
By subway, from Sangbong Station on Line 7, transfer to the Gyeongchun Line and get off at Gapyeong Station. Jaraseom Island is a 15-minute walk from the station.
By bus, from the Sangbong Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Gapyeong. Jaraseom Island is a 15-minute walk from the bus terminal.
Makgeolli Festivals 2016
It’s that time of year for makgeolli festivals, though the unseasonably warm temperatures may have us all thinking otherwise. Traditionally, October has been the month for makgeolli festivals around the peninsula, and this year is no exception. There are two major festivals on the dance card of makgeolli lovers, the Ilsan Makgeolli Festival and the Jarasum Makgeolli Festival. In previous years, the much larger Jarasum festival has been held during the last week of October to coincide with Makgeolli Day, which is on the last Thursday of the month. However, for anyone that was in attendance at Jarasum last year, it was more than a little chilly in the camping facilities, and we may have needed to drink a few more bottles just to keep the frost at bay!
This year, in order to stave off the cold, the Jarasum Makgeolli Festival has been changed to the weekend of October 7-9, which unfortunately falls on the same weekend as the Ilsan Festival. So if you are a makgeolli lover and don’t want to travel too far, be sure to check out the annual Ilsan Makgeolli Festival on either Saturday the 8 or Sunday the 9. But if you really want a full makgeolli festival experience, get your camping gear and head to Jarasum for a weekend of makgeolli and entertainment.
Story By: Julia Mellor
Photos by: MMPK
Jarasum International Jazz Festival returns for 13th showing
A mainstay at Jaraseom is the annual Jarasum International Jazz Festival, which is kicking off its 13th edition this year. Taking place on October 1-3, the festival has brought in over 40 acts from South Korea and abroad to perform at 11 different venues and stages, introducing audiences to all facets of jazz.
This year’s performers include the likes of Grammy-winning Caetano Veloso, U.S. quartet Oregon, Vladimir Cetkar, Ah Jeong Hyeon & Friends, The Steve McQueens and many, many more. They will hit one of the many stages set up throughout the island and Gapyeong, including Jazz Island, the Party Stage, Gapyeong Village, the Acoustic Stage and the Pop-Up Stage.
In 2004, when Jarusum Jazz Festival first started, it was the only music festival that centered on jazz. The festival continues to focus only on that genre, though introduces audiences to the many flavors of jazz, such as swing, fusion, bossa nova, bebop and world music. It has attracted over one million visitors since it began.
This year includes a special “France Focus” which will bring in six French jazz groups to perform in celebration of 130 years of diplomatic relations between France and Korea.
All in all, the festival is a special place, according to organizers.
“Lying down on the grass, facing the stars, the time with your loved ones and listening to the best jazz. Let’s visit Gapyeong in October,” they say.
After September 29, tickets are only available on-site for KRW 55,000 per day for adults and KRW 40,000 per day for children. The number of tickets available will depend on how many tickets have been sold online, so on-site tickets could be limited.
Story By: Emma Kalka
Photos by: Jarasum International Jazz Festival
Story by: Emma Kalka
Photos by: Jaruseom.net