46

No. Most Japanese people do NOT speak Korean. However, the English language is a required subject in the Japanese secondary education; although English education has not gone very well for Japanese people, in general, most people can understand at least a little bit of English (except, of course, the very old people). (EDIT: As commenters reminded me, there ...


39

The whole point of the song is to mock Gangnam poseurs, and some of the humor in the video comes from showing Psy somewhere that turns out to be a rather some ordinary, unglamorous place— a neighborhood playground instead of an elite resort, a public bath instead of the pool at a fancy sports club, the subway instead of an excusive nightclub, etc. It would ...


29

Have you already completed your mandatory military service? The reason I ask is that many of the young Koreans that I know who do this sort of thing (show their USA passport when they enter S Korea) are trying to avoid being caught and punished by the South Korean government who takes the service requirement seriously. If you don’t know, you might find ...


27

You don't indicate what time of day you will arrive and depart, but Incheon Airport offers a series of free Transit Tours of varying lengths and departing at various times of the day. The shorter tours are within the city of Incheon, which is a major city in its own right, whereas some of the longer 4- and 5-hour tours are of sights and sites in Seoul. While ...


25

That's a lot of questions, son, but I'll give you a general rundown based on my experience. English signage in the major cities is sufficient for getting around, eg. the Seoul Metro and Korea Rail have all major signs and announcements in English (and Japanese and Chinese!), so you won't need hangul for a visit of a few days. Major tourist attractions will ...


20

They are almost certainly Buddhist monks - the shaved head and gray clothes (apparently called "gasa") are a mark of their ascetic style of living. The gray robes worn by a monastic declare that one is a practitioner, and represent the spirit of no belongings, letting go of all worldly desires.


18

You can also catch a glimpse of North Korea on the Jayu-ro highway, for instance around 37.802870, 126.683044. Nothing very interesting though, just some hills across the sea. The tour I took to DMZ (you can't get there without a tour) took us via that road, because it's one of the easiest places to see North Korea close to Seoul. According to our tour guide,...


18

Just buy the ticket with the name in your Korean passport and travel with your Korean passport. You can check in for your flight leaving the US with your Korean passport. It's possible that nobody will ask you about your status in the US when you leave. That has always been my experience (with European airlines). I've heard of people being asked, however....


16

He is Buddist. Buddists in Korea wear grey and red robes, despite of the most asian countries where the popular color is yellow and orange.


14

There are quite a few routes to travel by sea between China and South Korea. Most of them go through the Port of Incheon and that is what my answer will cover. Routes The following is a map from the Port of Incheon. It shows the passenger routes to China. I added the English names in white. There are two International Passenger Terminals in Incheon. The ...


13

It is presently not possible to travel from S Korea to the US, or anywhere else, via freighter. Since the Sewol sinking, Korea has restricted embarkation for passengers on freighters, as reported to me by 4 different cargo travel agencies as of April 2016. I'm presently awaiting a CMA CGM vessel in Hong Kong, which was the next closest option. Ironically, we ...


13

Blossom viewing is common to all East Asian cultures, and the cherry blossom is the most prominent spring blossom in Korea. I would not say it is central to the culture the way it is in Japan, however. As with everything in East Asia, it is not untouched by complicated history. Some of the more famous stands, such as at Changgyeonggung Palace in Seoul, were ...


13

now the Korean government is making people who hold short term visas quarantine in a government-designated facility for 2 weeks at their own expense (~$1200!!), and I would really like to avoid that. Last time I checked (on 2020-04-05), that was incorrect: the notice to traveler clearly says that only passengers without a confirmed address will have to go ...


12

In a word (and a meme), no. As you're probably aware, South and North Korea remain (in theory anyway) at a state of war and travel between the two is extremely restricted. In the past, there were organized tours from South Korea to Kumgangsan and Kaesong, but both have been indefinitely suspended since 2008 or so. Pyongyang has never been accessible to ...


12

The closest you can get on your own would be going to right before the DMZ. The North and the South each control 2km of the DMZ. Other than some special tour packages such as these, access to the DMZ is very controlled. You can see the North from several of the sites that are on the tourist packages.


12

I can answer this question because I am Korean, but I think I can't answer this question for just yes or no. If you plan to go to main cities of South Korea, I think some of local restaurant offers menus with English quotes with it. But the thing is most (I would say "almost", but just better than japan, and I'm not trying to look down others.) of Korean ...


12

You need an ID for domestic flights. They need an ID to pass through security, and those who are not authorized to visit the mainland will be turned back (at Security or check-in). Accepted IDs: (source, Korean) Passport International Driving Permit Alien Registration Card Korean Permanent Resident Card ID for US Army in Korea


11

I completed my travel. I can confirm that the shower rooms are completely self contained. You can leave your luggage at the front desk or carry it with you inside. The shower rooms look exactly like the pictures. The towels are small in size and you need to ask for multiple ones for an adult. It doesn't cost anything even for the "amenities". The only thing ...


11

I think jpatokal gave excellent advice - considering how much you asked! That's a lot of motivation for a mere tourist! May I add (I live in Korea): When you try to communicate in English, be patient: they may understand you, but they will need their time to respond to you if they are not very fluent. Have a pen and paper ready, or type on your ...


11

Name: Inwangsan Suseong-dong Valley Address: 서울특별시 종로구 옥인동 185-3 185-3 Ogin-dong Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea Location: Google Maps Sources: TheSeoulStop.com, TheSoulOfSeoul.com The map is not too clear to determine the exact location of the bridge, this is as close as it gets.


11

I'm an undergraduate in Korea (South). Quick answer for your question is "impossible" though you can find some people "acting" kisaeng (-_-?!) There are 2 types of kisaeng in korea nowadays Real kisaeng They are who really worked(?) as kisaeng until 1940's but not anymore since kisaeng has become illegal "job" (1945 I can't find the exact bill related at ...


11

Do tickets for these Korean trains have to be booked in advance? Apparently not, according to The Man in Seat 61: You can buy tickets at the station, but trains are busy on Fridays and Sunday evenings, so buying in advance is a good idea. Trains are also busy around the two main 3-day national holidays, the lunar new year and Chuseok (meaning ...


11

I'm a South Korean, so I guess I can give you the appropriate answer The ITX is neither a fast train, nor a train that runs between Seoul and Busan. You just need to consider buying KTX ticket. Unless you plan to take a train between Friday evening and Sunday evening, buying a ticket after you arrive at Korea won't be a problem. But I recommend you to buy ...


11

The referenced article is not accurate, as freedom of religion in South Korea is provided for in the South Korean constitution. Article 20 [Religion, Church] (1) All citizens enjoy the freedom of religion. (2) No state religion may be recognized, and church and state are to be separated. As Wikipedia notes, there was a movement to destroy the worship of ...


10

Two days ago I took the Weidong ferry from Qingdao to Incheon, while both the Lonely Planet book and the ferry company web site state 775 CNY as the cheapest fare (economy bed) plus 30 CNY port tax = 805 CNY, the actual ticket was just 458 + 30 = 488 CNY Both China and South Korea have National holidays soon, so I don't think this was an off-season price. ...


10

If you have a British Citizen passport you can enter South Korea as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. Sources: Korean ministry of Foreign Affairs GOV.UK Wikipedia


10

South Korea is colder, although not hugely so: here's a handy Seoul vs Tokyo comparison chart. Summers are basically the same (sweltering), September-October is around 3°C colder, winters are up to 10°C colder. So I would tackle Korea first, then fly to Tokyo and work your way south. Note that in Japan itself there are significant regional ...


10

It'd be helpful if you indicated which locations you plan to visit as the situation can vary depending on whether it is a popular tourist destination or not. But here's more or less a general answer: Unless if you plan to drive to a remote location with few population, booking a hotel won't be a problem since majority of hotels have employees that can speak ...


10

Usually, in my experience if you travel during the regular weekday and not on a weekend, during Seolal (Lunar New Year) or Chuseok (Harvest Moon Festival) there are several seats available between Seoul and Busan.


9

Specific to defectors, not really. I think that would aggravate things more then anything. While South Koreans are aware of the "struggle" of many of their Northern brethren, things like the Ministry of Unification look actively to bond both cultures rather then highlight the differences. If you're looking for a glimpse of North Korean life you might want ...


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