Let’s jump back half a year ago, to my last weekend in Seoul. Clear skies, lush green vegetation and warm sunshine made the allure of spending the day outside almost impossible to resist. With that in mind, I elected to visit Jongmyo Shrine! It existed as a place of worship for kings throughout the Joseon dynasty, and today anyone may visit to appreciate its beauty.
This shrine is about a ten-minute walk from Jongno 3-ga station, exits 8 or 12, and entrance is a mere thousand won (free if you’re wearing hanbok!) Visitors do have the option of purchasing the Four Palaces integrated ticket, which covers entry to Seoul’s four palaces- Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung, and Changdeokgung (including the Secret Garden), as well as Jongmyo Shrine.
The shrine is closed on Tuesdays, and Saturday is the only day where visitors can wander at their leisure- other days of the week require booking a tour group. I was grateful to be there on a Saturday, enjoying the jasmine-scented breeze and reflecting with some degree of melancholy upon my months spent in Korea.
Later that day, I was on my way to Hongdae to enjoy one last shabu shabu meal. Six days later, I was riding my loaded touring bike southeast across the country, off on what was to become a summer of never-ending adventures. At that point, I felt incredibly apprehensive and unprepared, but in retrospect this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! 🙂