On a bustling street in Myeong-dong, 21-year-old Japanese college student Yuki Kinoshita was looking for a “gomtang” place to try out the milky-white Korean beef broth.
“My map says it is here. But it’s gone,” Kinoshita told The Korea Herald showing her map, written in Japanese. The place she was looking for, with her girlfriend, had been replaced by another restaurant.
It was her second time in Korea. Her interest in the country grew while she was listening to K-pop in Japan. She planned to spend about 100,000 yen ($1,300) for an eight-day stay around Myeong-dong for shopping and “hanging around,” excluding flight tickets.
“It is fun walking around here. I think Myeong-dong deserves to be a major district of Seoul because so many people visit here.”
Giving up on gomtang, Kinoshita took off for shopping and disappeared into a multi-national crowd that included Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian and some Western tourists.
Myeong-dong, once practically deserted in the aftermath of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, has made a comeback as a major district with a young, international vibe.
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