Every Corner of Korea

Time travel to go into history 100 years ago 'Kuryongpo Japanese House Street' - Pohang, Gyeongbuk, Korea

Guryongpo Japanese house street view

Time travel to go into history 100 years ago 'Kuryongpo Japanese House Street'

Pohang, Gyeongbuk, Korea

There is a space in Pohang Guryongpo where the time of 100 years ago has stopped. Let's take a time trip to 'Kuryongpo Japanese House Street', lined with houses that look different from ours.
What do you think of when you Pohang? With Homigot's hands facing each other on the sea and land, and Jukdo Market, which has everything except for nothing, delicious Guryongpo snow crab and Guamegi, and Naeyeonsan Bogyeongsa Temple and Unjesan Orsa are followed. Posco, which is a giant of Pohang economy and boasts a great night view, is regrettable. At this point, it seems that I have almost traveled to the destination of Pohang. To this, let's add the Guryongpo Modern History Museum, which opened in 2012. In the meantime, Pohang, which has been stored only as a famous spot for sunrise and as a delicious beach, will come.
Why is there a Japanese house in Guryongpo?
There is a place in Pohang Guryongpo called 'Japanese House Street'. As the name suggests, it is a place where Japanese houses were concentrated. Only a few years ago, people who knew only came and looked through the winding alleys. In 2012, with the opening of Guryongpo Modern History Museum, it was neatly arranged in the name of 'Guryongpo Japanese House Street', and the path of those who visited Guryongpo continues. Why are there Japanese-style houses here? Most of the old buildings have been renovated, but considering the size of the house, it can be seen that it was a house with a manufacturing department.
Guryongpo Japanese House Street Scenery
It is known that the Japanese entered Guryongpo about 100 years ago. The fishing boats of Kagawa Prefecture came to this place after a group of fish. Later, many Japanese fishermen moved to Guryongpo. It can be seen that in 1932, the number reached 300 households, which was quite large. According to data from Guryongpo Modern History Museum, it is known that the first fishermen in Kagawa Prefecture appeared in the waters of the Korean Peninsula from around 1880 to 1884. At the time, the Seto Inland Sea of Kagawa Prefecture had a narrow fishing ground, and the fishermen's disputes continued. Eventually, helpless fishermen went to the distant sea in search of wider fishing grounds and settled on the Korean Peninsula with abundant fishery resources.
Guryongpo Japanese House Street Alley
The meat was plentiful, so he had no choice but to raise money. The wealthy Japanese built their homes, such as ship management, ship transportation, and canning processing factories, and Japanese collective residences began to form. The streets with restaurants, bakeries, pubs, department stores, and inns flourished and grew into the largest downtown area in Guryongpo. You can see the revival period of Guryongpo at that time with the remaining Japanese-style houses. About 80 houses remain at a distance of about 500m.
About 80 Japanese-style houses located about 500 meters away
What is the main reason Japanese people have been able to settle in Guryongpo? This is because it is the Japanese colonial power that changed the history of Korea in the 20th century. In the same context, it is not only difficult to see Japanese-style houses in the seaside towns of the South Sea, such as Busan or Tongyeong, as well as Pohang. In August 1910, the Korean Empire disappeared, and the Japanese occupation continued until the defeat of Japan in August 1945. It coincides with the time when Japanese fishermen entered Guryongpo.
Stairs leading to Guryongpo Park
As we look at the remaining Japanese houses, we think about what life our ancestors of Guryongpo lived at that time. After the end of the war, they returned to Japan, but the remaining streets still remember the "people" and "times" that existed here.
The sea of Guryongpo overlooking from Guryongpo Park
Guryongpo The easiest way to enter a Japanese street is to go to the Guryongpo Post Office. When you enter the alley with the post office on the left, the streets of Guryongpo Japanese houses spread out. Each building has an old picture and a description, so it's fun to compare. Houses of a different shape than ours attract attention.
Entrance to advertise the streets of Japanese houses in Guryongpo
Let's take a look at the stories the buildings have. The building with the sign <Hohomyeonok> was <Daedeung Inn>, the best accommodation in Guryongpo at the time. It is now a restaurant where you can taste cold noodles. <Frusato>, which now houses a Japanese tea house, was a popular restaurant <Ilsimjeong> 80 years ago. If you follow the buildings like this, you will see a stairway to the left. This is the way to Guryongpo Park.
Japanese style teahouse called <Frusato>
When you go up to the park of Guryongpo, offshore and Japanese houses spread out at a glance. Behind the park is the Simsang Elementary School, built during the Japanese occupation. If you leave the stairs behind your back and face the sea, you will see the main gate of 'Kuryongpo Japanese House Street'.
Simsang Elementary School where Japanese people living in Guryongpo studied
Where Hashimoto Zengichi lived, Guryongpo Modern History Museum
If you enter the main entrance, go to the Guryongpo Modern History Museum. You can also get a brochure with the description of the resident cultural commentator. Closed on Mondays. The Guryongpo Modern History Building was built by Gengichi Hashimoto from Kagawa Prefecture in the 1920s. Construction materials were imported from Japan to build a two-story Japanese-style wooden house. A typical Japanese house with a charming garden and Japanese-style tatami mats can be explored in every corner.
Guryongpo Modern History Museum Entrance
"The big axis of Japanese people living in Guryongpo at the time was Hashimoto Zengichi and Togawaya Subro," said Kim Jae-woo, cultural commentator at Pohang City Hall. He added.
Guryongpo Modern History Museum
Let's go into the modern history hall. On the first floor, the situation where Japanese fishermen settled in Guryongpo 100 years ago and the life of Japanese people at that time are displayed. Bootsdan, Godatsu, and the kitchen have reproduced the lives of those who lived here.
Inside where you can see the life of Zengichi Hashimoto
On the second floor, you can watch the video of the people who returned to Japan. At the time, you can hear the training of members of the 'Guryongpo Association' composed of Japanese who spent their childhood in Guryongpo.
Inside where you can see the life of Zengichi Hashimoto

"It was a pleasure to be in the end. Because the war I hate is over. But when I returned to Japan, I felt lonely."

This is the words of Hisamoto Hisamoto (86), the youngest daughter of the Zengichi family who lived in the building of the Guryongpo Modern History Museum. He spent his childhood here and said, "I wanted to stay there because I was born and raised."

Inside where you can see the life of Zengichi Hashimoto
Could Japanese and Koreans be friends during the Japanese occupation? Let's listen to the story he tells as he walks through this street that embraces 100 years ago.
Inside where you can see the life of Zengichi Hashimoto
Travel information

Restaurants near

-Hwanyeohoe Hoejip: Mulhoe / 189-1, Haean-ro, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-251-8847

-Madohoe restaurant: Mulhoe / 217-1 Haean-ro, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-251-3850

-Delicacy whale: whale breeding / 70 Chilseong-ro, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-248-9668

-Halmae Restaurant: Kalchi Set meal / 29 Saemaeul-ro, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-247-9521

-Marine Society Snow Crab Center: General Water Association, Maeuntang / 32 Jukdo Market-gil, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-255-0055


-Philos Hotel: 6 Jukpa-ro, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-250-2000


-Aqua Motel: 249-4, Homi-ro, Guryongpo-eup, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-284-6900

-Sunrise House: 11, Homi-ro 426beon-gil, Guryongpo-eup, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-284-2515

-Naru End Bed and Breakfast: 21 Homi-ro 426beon-gil, Guryongpo-eup, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-276-3709

-Homigot Hannah Motel: 13-1, Homigot-gil 179beon-gil, Homigot-myeon, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 054-284-9802

-Homigot Condotel: 10, Homigot-gil 179beon-gil, Homigot-myeon, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea / 054-284-8044

※ The above information was updated in April 2019, and may be changed later, so please check before you travel.
※ Information, such as text, photos, and videos used in this article, is copyrighted by the Korea Tourism Organization, and unauthorized use of the article is prohibited.