Konnichiwa. 

Goodness what a jetsetter I’ve become. NZ in January, England in March and now Korea and Japan. 

Yes, you read right, I have just returned from two weeks away – a week each in South Korea and Japan. I was actually on business. While this didn’t allow much time for sightseeing, it did give me the opportunity to travel to these countries and to meet many locals and visit places that tourists don’t. 

Regular readers know I do not write about my work but there’s enough other stuff to occupy several posts. 

So let’s begin with South Korea. 

Seoul is a buzzy place. An open all hours place. This strange mix of modern skyscrapers and love of designer labels with traditional aspects of their culture. 

Streets are lined with massive skyscrapers.  There are huge underground shopping centres. (I didn’t buy anything – poor exchange rates, high prices and no real need for more stuff.)

I stayed in the Gangnum area. You remember the corny pop song!?! I visited the Buddhist temple there. 

   
  

Between meetings I also got to visit a park where long departed royals are buried. 

I loved the berries. So vibrant. Once you notice one, you suddenly see them everywhere. So different from our plants. The white ones turn into the purple ones!!

 

And here’s a 300 year old, (or is it 500? Can’t remember and too tired to google.) ginko tree. Always wondered what they were. I wonder no more. The ground beneath the tree was littered with ginko berries. You can see them in the collage above – lower left picture. They squash like grapes. 

  

The burial tomb was on a hill with stone guards and animals. 

  

There were steps and paths for the spirits and other steps and paths for humans. 

  
  

      

Look at the blue skies! How lucky was I?

More on Korea tomorrow.  
(And yes, I realise konnichiwa is Japanese and the Koreans don’t speak Japanese. It’s a thematic title of sorts.)

 

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10 thoughts on “Konnichiwa. 

    • Travelled with one other colleague who I didn’t know before and had only met briefly twice in pre-departure meetings. Days and some were heavily packed. Tried a tonne of foods. Will post about the food.

  1. Gangnum style! It’s fascinating to see the photos of different cultural beliefs, especially the separate paths for spirits and humans. What invaluable experience to bring back to the workplace. I have so many questions I want to ask about the work side of things! Hope it was a really worthwhile trip and hope you are not absolutely exhausted from coming back to the end-of-year mayhem!

  2. Super jealous of this sort of work trip! Just love any chance to be immersed in another culture. Seeing I’ve been to Japan, I’m keen to hear your thoughts on Korea, and any comparisions with Japan.

    • As it was work, it was more an immersion. You picked the right word.

      Quite a few immediately noticeable differences between Korea and Japan. But I’m no expert on either cultures and countries. People in both countries were friendly but the Japanese more so. Food better in Japan. Wealth has been more recent to Korea and it shows in their developments.

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