If you think Jukseong Church (죽성성당) is so picturesque that it must be in a movie, you are almost correct. It was indeed built for a Korean drama, ‘Dream.’
30-36 Jukseong-ri, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Donghae Line, Gijang station (기장/K123), Exit 1 > walk to Gijang Catholic Church (기장성당) bus stop about 450 m (1500 feet) > Transfer to Bus: Gijang-gun 6 > Off at Jukseong Dream setjang (죽성드림세트장) bus stop
Parking lot available nearby
Call: +82-1330 (Korea Travel Hotline by Korea Tourism Organization – KTO)
Jukseong Church (죽성성당)
Jukseong Church (죽성성당), or Jukseong Dream Open Set, is so photogenic that it has been beloved by both local photographers and visitors. Don’t get confused. The church is not a real one where you can attend worship services.
Gijang Jukseong Church was built and used for a Korean drama, ‘Dream’ (2009). After filming, Gijang-gun decided to keep this Kdrama set because the place had been loved by locals and visitors. The building holds occasional small exhibitions by local artists. You can watch the TV drama here for free. Click here to see more information about the Kdrama ‘Dream’.
‘Dream’ is not the only TV drama filmed in Gijang area. Gijang-gun, a district of Busan, has attracted many filmmakers thanks to its strong local mood, lively fishing villages, and, of course, the beautiful coast of the East Sea (동해). The local administration promotes the area as a filming location in many ways like using a concrete tetrapod in the picture below.
The list of movies filmed in this area includes Ode To My Father (국제시장), The Attorney (변호인), Inside Men (내부자들), The Sheriff in Town (보안관), My Brother (우리형), Friend (친구), Kundo: Age of the Rampant (군도: 민란의 시대) and more.
Although Gijang-gun has many areas with spectacular coastal sceneries, Jukseong Church area is be one of the best spots. The breathtaking view of the horizon from Jukseong Church to Jukseong Breakwater would help you let go of your worries and feel so refreshed.
Jukseong Port (죽성항) near Jukseong Church
Within a short walking distance from Jukseong Church, you can find Jukseong Port and Jukseong Breakwater. I don’t know a thing about fishing (I’m a voracious seafood eater, though), but it seems like the area is a quite popular spot among fishermen. When I visited, many hopeful fishermen were casting fishing lines.
The view of Jukseong Church from the breakwater gives another wow moment. With this view, I wouldn’t mind if I don’t catch any fish although the fishermen wouldn’t agree with me.
On the way to Jukseong Breakwater, you see Hwanghakdae (황학대), where Yun Seondo (윤선도) came and write poems while he spent 6 years in Gijang.
Gosan Yun Seondo from Joseon Dynasty is one of the grand masters of Korean sijo, which is a Korean traditional poetic form. He was banished to Gijang because he challenged and criticized those in power. Hwanghak means ‘yellow crane’ and it got its name because the place looked like a yellow crane spreading its wings.
Gijangri Jukseong Haesong (Black Pine / 기장리 죽성 해송)
On the opposite side of Jukseong Church, you can see an old tall black pine over Duho Village (두호마을), Gijang Jukseongri Haesong (기장 죽성리 해송/black pine).
The black pine seems like one big tree, but they are actually five black pines that grew in a group. The trees are about 250 to 300 years old. The trees are within a short walk from Jukseong Church, but, in my humble opinion, this doesn’t have to be on top of your list if you are in hurry.
Trail along Jukseong-ri
Jukseong-ri is (죽성리) a small coastal town where you can fish, walk on a trail along the wide-open ocean, appreciate historical stories about the town, enjoy seafood, or simply sit and breathe in the peaceful ocean wind.
The coastal trail along the East Sea (동해) is easy to walk and well managed. There are several spots along the trail where you can have a sit and lose the sense of time. My favorite spot is the steps facing the ocean where you can absorb a calm and yet energetic vibe from the ocean while sipping a cup of good java.
There is a group of pojangmacha (포장마차/tent-style street stall) near Jukseong Church. You can have hoe (회/raw fish), jeonbokjuk (전복죽/abalone rice porridge), jogaegui (조개구이/grilled clams), and more at these stalls.
Gijang Woljeon Seafood Market (기장월전 활어판매장)
Gijang Woljeon Seafood Market is located at the end of the trail on the opposite side of Jukseong Breakwater. They have two sections: seafood shops where you order your seafood dishes and restaurants where they bring what you order to your table at some extra fee. You may feel some sellers are a bit aggressive, but no worries. You just do what you need to do nonchalantly. They do no harm.