Travel, Food & Books

Jogyesa Temple

It’s autumn in Seoul, and I haven’t had a chance to take pictures of the fall foliage yet. So, on Wednesday at 1:30 pm after my Korean lesson finished, I started my journey to discover the beauty of Autumn in Seoul.

My plan was to visit Changdeokgung Palace. My Seonsaengnim was kind enough to accompany me on my trip. When we came across the Cheonggyecheon stream, she told me that there would be a lantern festival along the river starting from the 4th to the 20th of November and it’s 1.2km long.

Jogyesa Temple

On our way, I saw a strange-looking tree with lots of yellow flowers in front of Jogyesa temple. It was a diversion from my original plan, but I couldn’t ignore it, so I stopped by for a visit. But It was worth it, the temple was surrounded by beautiful flowers and two dragons were guarding the place, both covered with flowers.

My teacher had an urgent thing to do at home and couldn’t accompany me any longer. Before leaving me, she told me the direction toward my ultimate goal, and I felt relief knowing that the route wasn’t complicated.

The short history of the temple was found at the right corner of the temple’s gate written in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.

Jogyesa temple is the main temple of the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism, Gakhwangsa temple, which was built in 1910 with donations from Buddhist temples worldwide, was moved to the present location of Jogyesa temple in 1937, and was named after Taegosa Temple on Samgaksan Mountain the following year.

In 1941, the Laws of Taegosa was created and the Jogye Order of Joseon Buddhism was officially inaugurated. In 1954, with the drive to clean up Korea’s Buddhist community, the temple was renamed again, taking its present name of Jogyesa.

Off to Changdeokgung Palace

I resumed my journey not long after my teacher left me. By walking straight down, it took me to a junction. To the left was Gwanghamun palace and my destination was on the right. There were a few Gingko trees along the road, and their leaves had changed colour to yellow.

I went to the ticket counter to ask for the Secret Garden tour, but unfortunately, the tour in English had already finished for the day. She offered me the Palace tour, but I wanted to do both together so, I told her that I’d come back another day. She then advised me to be there early if I wanted to do both tours.

Well, honestly, I didn’t feel disappointed about the unsuccessful trip today because the sky didn’t look promising either. I would rather wait for another day when the sky was blue and inviting.

Changdeokgung Palace

On my way to Anguk station, I met a couple of Malaysian ladies wearing Hanbok, and according to them, they rented it for 15,000 won for 4 hours in Insadong and they walked to the palaces wearing the outfit. I would love to wear it too but only when travelling with a group of friends. But I didn’t have any friends here, so, no chance for me to wear that.

How did I travel there?

Walking along the road from Euljiro 1 towards the junction before turning right and following along with the road to the palace entrance. Along the way, you will encounter Cheonggyecheon bridge, Jonggak Station and Jogyesa Temple, and after crossing the junction is Jonggak Station. From there,  it’s only 5 minutes away before reaching the palace entrance.

Travel Date: 02nd November 2016

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