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Jumunjin Port

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Jumunjin Port (주문진항; map) is a bustling seafood port near the top of Gangneung City’s coast. Besides a handful of attractions, it claims the largest fish markets on the East Coast.

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Jumunjin Port was founded in June, 1923. It sits on the confluence of warm and cold currents just off its coast in the East Sea, which provides a rich environment for squid, sea bream, pollack, herring, and anchovies to thrive.

Over the years, the port gained a reputation as the premier destination to dine on freshly caught squid. Droves of cars and tourists flocked to Jumunjin, overwhelming the port’s roads, forcing the port to demolish buildings and put up parking decks.

Jumunjin Port still retains its seafaring character, however. The Jumunjin Seafood Village (주문진 해물마을; map) is a collection of traditional seafood restaurants that surround Jumunjin Fish Market. Wander its streets and find locally owned eateries serving sea-to-table fish, molluscs, and other East Sea water critters.

The Jumunjin Port Naval Battle was a Korean War skirmish that took place near the port on June 25, 1950. The only naval battles between US and North Korean naval vessels, battle began when the North Koreans (KPA) attempted to sail supplies through a U.S. naval blockade. U.S. battleships devastated the KPA’s navy, sinking three torpedo boats and two gunboats.

Jumunjin Market

Each day, over 350 fishing boats sail out from Jumunjin Port into the wide East Sea. They return with their haul and fill the saltwater tanks of Jumunjin Fish Market (주문진수산시장; map).

First opened in 1936, Jumunjin Fish Market is the largest of its kind on Korea’s east coast. Its entrance is easy to spot. Stroll down the port’s main street by the harbor. Glance inland and spot an oversized whale statue topping a high awning (road view).

Featuring two-stories, 88 shops, and dozens of fresh seafood restaurants, Jumunjin Fish Market’s sea meat, all domestically caught, is famous for its freshness, quality, and comparatively inexpensive price. 

Closed every Wednesday, Jumunjin Fish Market is home to a dried fish market, puffer fish festival in winter, and a special 5-day market (on the 1st and 6th of each month) offering locally grown produce.

Jumunjin Lighthouse

Jumunjin Lighthouse (주문진등대; map) is the oldest lighthouse in Gangwon State. It sits about 1 kilometer north of Jumunjin Port. Originally built in 1918, workers repaired the lighthouse in 1951 after bombing and artillery damaged it during the Korean War.

Jumunjin Lighthouse is smaller than most, rising only 10 meters. But this circular brick structure with a white lime mortar exterior is prized because it is a landmark in Korea’s lighthouse construction history.

Jumunjin Lighthouse is still operational. At night, its beacon flashes every 15 seconds and reaches up to 37 kilometers into the East Sea.

Jumunjin Lighthouse, and parts of Jumunjin Port, have been featured in Korean dramas, such as Golden Empire, which aired in 2013.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Outdoor space: 09:00~18:00 (summer and winter)
    • Indoor facilities: 09:00~17:00 (summer and winter)
  • Admission: Free

Jumunjin Maritime Museum

Jumunjin Maritime Museum (주문진해양박물관; map) occupies the second floor of a parking tower near Jumunjin’s docks. Free to the public, its exhibits include rare corals and walls filled with taxidermied marine species, rare coral, and plant specimens.

  • Operating Hours: 9 AM ~ 6PM
  • Admission: Free

Jumunjin Beach

Most know Jumunjin for its port. However, Jumunjin Beach (주문진해변; map) sits just north of the busy port. It spans 700 meters and features shallow and clear waters suitable for swimming.

Hyang Lake (향호; map) lies next to the beach. It offers freshwater fishing, waterside sports parks, and camp sites below a nearby pine forest.