This autumn I finally had a chance to visit the famous Jukseoru Pavillion in Samcheok and I happened to come there at the best time I could have ever imagined. There is a Chrysanthemum festival happening at the Jukseoru Pavillion this November and if you happen to be in Samcheok, you should not miss it as well.
Jukseoru pavilion was first constructed in 1275 by the scholar Yi Seunghyu and later repaired in the early Joseon era. It is considered one of the eight most scenic places in the Gangwon province, which Samcheok city belongs to. The pavilion situation on a high cliff, overlooking the Osipcheon Stream. It is in the western area of Samcheok city and at the walkable distance from Samcheok City Hall.
If you look closely, you can notice quite a few signboards hanging from the pavilion, such as ‘Jeilgyeongjeong’, ‘Jukseoru’ and ‘Gwandong Jeilru’ and ‘Haeseon Yuhui Jiso’, which were left there by the famous scholars of Joseon, stating the importance of this, considerably small place. When you go up to the pavilion, you can overlook the Osipcheon Stream and the western side of the city from high above. I visited right before the sunset and was super excited to see the beautiful, golden autumn sky without any barrier, as you would have to experience if you were in the city, between all the high rise buildings you could see in Seoul or any other major city of Korea.
When I first visited Samcheok, I did not know much about this place, but everyone I have ever met there has told me that I have to go to the pavilion and see it for myself, so I have decided to see it for myself and give it a try. Even though Jukseoru pavilion is said to be very beautiful at every season, I could proudly say that I was lucky enough to come at the best time, I possibly could.
This November, there was a Chrysanthemum festival held in the garden area, surrounding the pavilion. Chrysanthemum festivals are quite common in Korea in fall and the most popular (and the biggest) one is being held in the Jogyesa Temple in Seoul but in recent years it has become more common for other cities to organize this kind of festival as well and Samcheok is not an exception.
At the entrance, you are met with beautiful mascots of Gangwon province, that are a little bit hard to recognize at first, due to its unique colors, but as you look closely you can recognize their welcoming faces, smiling at you as you go in. Then, you see more flowers stands, that look like actual art pieces as you walk around: from the map outline of the Korean peninsula, mysterious dragons and fairy tale characters, to the actual miniature version of the Jukseoru Pavillion. There were so many beautiful creations, I could not wait but to take pictures of each.
Despite it not being related to traditional Korea, the one that got most of my attention was Olaf – a happy snowman from the Disney movie “Frozen”. Even though it was aimed towards the younger audience, I could not resist, but to appreciate it as well.
At the time of my visit, there were not that many people, but every single person who was there looked very impressed and fascinated by the beauty of the Jukseoru pavilion. Some loved the flowers and some just waited for the sun to set. I was lucky to get the best of both. If you are even in Samcheok, don’t miss the Jukseoru pavilion, as the visitation if free for charge, every day from 9 AM to 6 PM (in winter time is it 9 to 5).