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[Well-curated] LP listening pleasure, Pokemon pop-up and Korean traditional archery

Nov. 10, 2023 - 09:01 By Hwang Joo-young By Lee Si-jin By Hwang Dong-hee
A turntable and headset are placed on the table along with a manual at Music Complex Seoul in Insa-dong, central Seoul, Friday. (Hwang Joo-young/The Korea Herald)

Groove to LP sounds at Music Complex Seoul

The Music Complex Seoul, located inside the Anyoung Insadong shopping center in Jongno-gu, central Seoul, offers the special experience of listening to music in an old-fashioned yet captivating way -- via records on turntables.

Adorned with retro red wallpaper and neon lights, the Music Complex Seoul boasts a music library with over 20,000 vinyl LPs.

Shelves are stocked with vinyl at the Music Complex Seoul. (Hwang Joo-young/The Korea Herald)

Choose a record from the shelves and bring it to your table to play it on one of the many turntables and listen to the music via provided headphones. The turntables are Audio-Technica and Sony products while the headphones are from Shure and Sony.

The manual on the table should help you get set up, while staff is also on hand to assist. You can stay as long as you'd like but remember to return your records to the shelves before you leave.

Visitors listen to vinyl on turntables at their tables at the Music Complex Seoul. (Hwang Joo-young/The Korea Herald)

While there is no entrance fee, you are required to buy a drink. The price of non-alcoholic beverages ranges from 19,000 won to 20,000 won. For alcoholic drinks, the Music Complex Seoul sells craft beer for 20,000 won each. Pizza, french fries, croissants and apple pie are also available.

If you'd prefer a space entirely for yourself, head to a private room, which is equipped with an additional Fennessy speaker. Private rooms cost 50,000 won for one hour and reservations can be made via Naver or phone.

The Music Complex is open every day from noon to midnight. The Anyoung Insadong shopping mall is within walking distance of Anguk Station exit 6 on Metro line No. 3.

Visitors check out various stationery products on display at the Pokemon Store on Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

Pop-up store for Pokemon fans

If you've ever enjoyed Pokemon games, watched the Pokemon series or still play Pokemon Go, drop by the Pokemon Store.

The special pop-up store is sure to excite Pokemon lovers of all ages.

A three-to-five-minute walk from Jamsil Station exit 1 or 2 on Metro line No. 2, visitors can easily locate the winter-themed Pokemon pop-up on the first basement floor of Lotte Department Store’s luxury wing, Avenuel.

The Pokemon Store asks guests to enter your number of visitors and a phone number on a tablet at the front of the store. Then when it's your turn to enter, you will get a text message.

The store has almost every kind of Pokemon-themed merchandise imaginable, ranging from stationery supplies, calendars, clothes, neck warmers and sandwich makers to bags, posters and more.

Some of the popular items are key rings, Pokemon game cards and clear folders.

The most expensive item at the store is the Pokemon-themed advent calendar, consisting of badges, stamps, Pokemon figures, stickers, plush dolls and more. It costs 169,000 won ($129).

A Pokemon fan hopes to draw a golden Magikarp at a Pokemon store in Jamsil, southern Seoul, on Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

Don't forget to check out the "Magikarp" drawing machine near the store's exit, where you have a chance to draw a golden Magikarp.

The store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday. The store closes 30 minutes later on Fridays and weekends.

Admission is free.

Pokemon Store, which opened Nov. 3, runs through Nov. 15.

Visitors try out Korean traditional archery at Hwanghakjeong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. (Jongno Foundation for Arts & Culture)

Traditional Korean archery at Hwanghakjeong

Gukgung, Korean traditional archery, is a wonderful way to take a break, focus your mind and connect with your body.

About a 10-minute stroll from Exit 1, Gyeongbokgung Station on Metro line No. 3 will lead you to Hwanghakjeong, an archery range dating back to 1899. Originally established inside Gyeonghuigung by Emperor Gojong, it was relocated to its current site during the Japanese colonial period.

Korean traditional archery differs from Western archery in that you face your target directly, with one foot slightly behind the other. A day at the archery range offers a brief 1:1 lesson on posture and lets you have fun.

As you focus on the target, you’ll find your stress leaving you with each arrow. With every arrow inching closer to the bull's eye, you may discover your inner archer. It’s also a satisfying workout as it requires straight posture and shoulder strength to pull the arrows.

Hwanghakjeong Korean Archery Gallery (Jongno Foundation for Arts & Culture)

This experience is suitable for children aged 8 and above. Sessions are held every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the last Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon, with each one-hour time slot accommodating up to 15 participants. On Fridays, walk-ins are often available, but for Saturdays, booking in advance is recommended.

The cost is 4,000 won for the first set of 10 arrows, with an additional 2,000 won for every extra set of 10 arrows. Residents of Jongno-gu enjoy a 30 percent discount.

Next to the range, a gallery provides a deeper understanding of the history and culture of Korea’s archery. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.