Do you know what does Hanji mean? It is a Korean word, which means Korean Hand-made paper inner bark of paper mulberry. Because of the original materials used, as well as the way of making this paper, Hanji is very soft, but strong at the same time and is believed to be very strong and not decompose as easily as regular paper does. This is one of the main reasons why Hanji was used not only as regular paper but also to make certain kinds of clothing an interior details. In the past, it was widely used, even as a part of the furniture, and remains an important part of Korean culture up to this day.
There are two cities in Korea, that are well-known for their high-quality hanji and hold hanji festivals annually – Wonju and Jeonju. Earlier this month, I had a chance to visit Hanji Theme Park in Wonju, which is located in Musil-dong Wonju-si, Gangwon province. Even though this theme park is not on the list of the top tourist attractions in Korea, if you are staying in a country for a longer time, it is definitely worth a visit.
Wonju Hanji Theme Park is a place where you can learn all about the origins and history of Korean paper as well as participate in various cultural programs, such as making your own hanji (this year Hanji festival was held from 2th-6th May).
This cultural space is separated into two different parts – first floor accommodates Hanji History Hall where visitors can see the history, origins, production process, and Hanji related relics and is free of charge to visit, therefore the second floor is where special exhibitions Hanji and other types of domestic and international paper are held and in order to visit there, you would have to pay a symbolic fee of 2,000 Korean Won.
Wonju Hanji theme park mainly offers two experience programs: an actual hanji-making program and a hanji-craft program to make different items, related to hanji. Some examples of the items include cups, pendant necklaces, hairbands, and hairpins. Even though due to the lack of time we did not participate in the activity ourselves, I could definitely tell that is was something I would enjoy if we ever were to visit there again.
In summer, when the weather gets warmer, Hanji Theme Park also opens up an outdoor space, which is mainly used as a performance hall and the festival area. This is definitely a great getaway for families with small children as well as to those, who choose nature to the busy city life. In general, Â the overall goal of Wonju Hanji Theme Park is to educate and introduce the importance of
Place: Wonju Hanji Theme Park
Adress: 151, Hanjigongwon-gil, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do
강원도 원주시 한지공원길 151 (무실동)
Working hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (Mondays off)
Entrance fee: Free of charge (2nd exhibition is 2,000 won)