Tranquility in Gapyeong
The Jarasum International Jazz Festival puts the world’s best jazz musicians in a serene setting. With fresh autumn air and the colorful mosaic of Jara Island as a backdrop, more than 50 bands will make the ninth Jarasum International Jazz Festival the most popular yet.
The artists are top notch. First up is Jimmy Cobb, Larry Coryell, Joey Defrancesco All Star Trio will hit the stage on Oct. 14. The Duke Ellington Orchestra will take the stage a day later. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington is one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century.
Jarasum has come a long way since its debut in 2004, which the organizers admit was a “disaster” due to torrential rains. The 30,000 people in attendance and more than 100 performers may or may not agree, but they could not have predicted that this wasteland on the Bukhangang River would, in the space of under a decade, become the focal point for jazz in Asia.
With autumn approaching its peak, the Gapyong area is a trove for outdoor activities. Nearby, the Garden of the Morning Calm is an arboretum consisting of 5,000 species of plants in a beautiful valley. Perhaps the most famous of Gapyong’s attractions is Nami Island, a popular filming location for Korean movies and TV shows. Another popular place is Cheongpyeong Lake, which is surrounded by lush forests. For some city life head to Chuncheon, which is about a half-hour away.
Tickets: General tickets: 35,000 won (one day), 60,000 won (two days), 80,000 won (three days); field tickets: 40,000 won (one day)
Directions: Take an intercity bus or a train to Gapyeong. Jaraseom Island is a 10 minute-walk from Gapyeong Intercity Bus Terminal and a 15 minute-walk from Gapyeong Station.