Scent of Home: Little Tokyo in Seoul
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Scent of Home: Little Tokyo in Seoul
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2005.11.30 00:00
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▲ Photo by Shim Keum-jo Strolling down the streets of Ichon-dong, one can discover Little Tokyo.

   To get to the area of Ichon 1-dong, often referred to as ?ittle Tokyo,?take subway line 4 to Ichon station and go out exit 4.
   If you give it a quick glance, the neighborhood looks like a typical Korean neighborhood. There are a lot of apartment complexes, people walking their dogs, some people jogging and others just strolling down the sidewalks strewn with maple leaves. But that is probably the end of the similarity between this place and a typical Korean neighborhood.
   Walking down the street, you might notice the numerous real estate agencies with signs in Japanese script, then the Japanese restaurants and then Matsuyama Clinic, the doctors. As you pay more attention, you hear people who look pretty much like Koreans speaking a foreign language. As you realize this, you see the area looks strangely well-organized, with most of the buildings no more than two stories high. The atmosphere seems quieter and more orderly than those of nearby areas, much like what you experience on the tidy streets of Japan. If you have come this far, you have discovered ?ittle Tokyo.?Little Tokyo in Ichon 1-dong is one of the oldest international communities in Seoul. Since the 1970s, a large number of Japanese people have been living in this area because of its proximity to the Han River and other amenities. Over 1,500 Japanese households are reported to be living here.
   There are quite some places to visit here other than Japanese restaurants.?ne of these is ?onomart,?a small supermarket which sells only Japanese products, like food, snacks, and drinks. Both Japanese and Koreans frequently drop in to satisfy their craving for a Japanese taste. As an old Korean man makes his way to the counter, he talks about how a particular snack tastes exactly the same as it did when he was a small boy studying in Japan.
   While it? not the same as visiting Japan, a relatively short subway ride can put you in the midst of Japanese people in a Japanese community.刊 Sample the food and sample the atmosphere as you stroll through Little Tokyo.?o get to ?onomart,?go to Ichon Station, take exit 4, cross the street and walk 500 meters to your left.


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