by Mich & Marion KDL
And in the blink of an eye, we’re once again approaching yet another year’s end. What a year 2019 has been in K-Dramaland indeed! As always, it’s been such a thrill to discover new places and revisit familiar locations in the dramas we’ve watched over the past few months.
Naturally, there were location constants across this year’s drama spectrum, such as Incheon International Airport, Seogang Bridge, Seoul Central District Court and our evergreen
Ssangdaepo Restaurant. We also welcomed back some of those featured in our 2017 list, such as Green Cloud Coffee Shop, Chungah Park Columbarium, Asosan, A.Y Lounge Bar, as well as Yeouido Hangang Park.
So, which locations made our 2019 most-seen list? Read on to find out!
Note: Numbers in brackets at the end of each header denotes the number of dramas the location has appeared in this year!
Edging out Banpo Bridge this year is the signature blue semi-circle arches of this Ichon-dong bridge, seen in driving (or riding) scenes in dramas like Graceful Family, Doctor Prisoner, and My First First Love. The pathway along Dongjak Bridge was also well-visited by characters from Search: WWW, Investigation Couple 2 and Her Private Life, who came to contemplate life, love — and for some, even death.
Step aside, Jangheung Prison — there’s a new detention center on the block this year. The appearance of Seongdong Detention Center took us by surprise as its entrance looks similar to that of Jangheung’s, and it took us a while to figure out that they’re not the same place! It’s quickly risen up the ranks of being K-Dramaland’s 2019 penitentiary of choice, as seen in dramas like Touch Your Heart, Item and Class of Lies.
It’s interesting that the National Assembly Building has only just made its way to our list, but it shouldn’t come as any surprise. This is particularly so with politically-themed dramas such as Designated Survivor: 60 Days, Chief of Staff and My Fellow Citizens! gracing our screens this year, and the characters from these dramas either working for, or aspiring to work for South Korea’s national legislative assembly.
This street in the heart of Hongdae continues to be at the center of the lively youth culture that the area is known for, with its frequent busking performances seen in 2019 K-dramas like When The Devil Calls Your Name and Spring Turns To Spring. Eoulmadang Street is also a great place to take a stroll when you need some ‘me time’, like in One Spring Night.
Two years after Lotte World Tower & Mall officially opened its doors to the public, it’s also climbed its way to our Most Seen Locations list! This architectural wonder — seen towering over the siblings in in Melting Me Softly — was not the only feature of this extensive (and certainly expensive) retail and residential complex that was featured in K-Dramaland this year. For example, we also had a glimpse of Avenue L Department Store in Hotel Del Luna, and Signel Residences in Abyss.
A new addition to our list, but not a new location in K-dramaland; it’s about time we got to see (some) more of Some Sevit/Sebitseom on our screens! Whether it’s going on a fake date in Perfume, being mistakenly dragged to a climbing competition in Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life, or just good ol’ hanging out as in Hip Hop King, this cultural building continues to shine in Banpo Hangang Park, both day and night.
Out of the five times this rooftop house was featured in dramas this year, it was the actual residence (and workplace, at least of her mother) of only one character in K-Dramaland: Kim Hye-ja in The Light In Your Eyes. In other dramas like Romance is a Bonus Book, The Secret Life of My Secretary and Moments in Eighteen, it was either the location for a fleeting visit, or merely part of a walking or driving route.
The State Room of this prestigious office building in the heart of Myeong-dong was frequently featured this year as the location for (often, awkward and uncomfortable) meet-ups of K-Dramaland’s rich and powerful, as seen in Extraordinary You, or an office space a la Secret Boutique.
Believe it or not — this is the first time that a theme park has made it to our Most Seen Locations list (we’re surprised too)! Lotte World is no stranger to the folks of K-Dramaland though, having been steadily featured in dramas over the last 20 (!!) years or so. This year, Korea’s first indoor theme park was featured in shows like Love Alarm, Absolute Boyfriend and A-Teen 2.
Have any others to add to the ‘Most Seen’ list? Share your findings and favourites with us in the comments!
Watch out for the other upcoming KDL Roundups we have for 2019 🙂