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New forms of entertainment and stress relief: Exploring the unique cafés of Seoul 1
2017년 09월 22일 (금) 11:40:48 Ewha Voice evoice@ewha.ac.kr
People visiting Princess Diary can share their new experience of taking photos with their loved ones in unique costumes and backgrounds. Photo by Kim Jee-min. 

Tired of your daily americano? Seoul is home to numerous cafés, and though many keep it simple with just coffee and dessert, some of them are famous for throwing some entertainment into the bargain. The conventional gossip over coffee no longer serves as the reason for going to a café, as these cafés do not just sell beverage. Depending on one’s preference, one might try on a dress for an once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot, while the adrenaline junkie may seek thrill by attempting to escape from an escape room café. At the same time as these cafés have solidified their popularity as a means of relieving stress, other unique entertainment spaces are also flourishing rapidly. Why are these uniquely themed cafés gaining such popularity? The Ewha Voice visited a number of these cafés to explore this growing trend in more depth.

Dressing up to make your day special

Playing dress-up is not only for children anymore. Princess Diary is a dress café near the main gate of Ewha. Visitors come to rent costumes and take photos in the cafés various decorated rooms. Customers get to choose from a wide variety of wedding dresses, evening gowns and traditional hanbok. Visitors come with friends or with significant others for a memorable date. Ewha Voice visited Princess Diary to take a closer look.

In the entrance of the café, a couple wearing wedding attire is cheerfully playing the piano. The whole café has a cozy atmosphere with multiple rooms and dainty tables where visitors can casually drink. At one side of the café, there are racks of long white wedding dresses, tuxedos and prom dresses, as well as a drawer full of accessories like gloves and ribbons. Some visitors are looking through the dresses or seeking a server’s help for their fitting. Many visitors, especially foreign tourists, are attracted to the traditional hanboks.

Some visitors shared that they visited the café because they wanted to wear evening gowns, which they never had the opportunity to try on before.

“In Korea, as a student, there are not many occasions in which you can wear these types of dresses,” said Lee Ji-yeon, a university student who visited with her friends. “That is why I wanted to come here with my friends: to share this new experience and have a good time.”

The whole café aims to accommodate taking photos. In a corner, a background with a wooden door, dresser, a tiger rug and round kisaeng hats decorated the traditional Korean set. A photo montage on the wall, showing families, friends, and couples who had made good memories there encouraged visitors to do the same.

“You know the saying, ‘only photos remain,’” remarked the manager. “That’s why people come to this place to make and capture this unique experience.”

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