“Oiso (Come), Boiso (See), and Saiso (Buy)!” is a famous phrase that represents the Jagalchi Market. Along with the nearby Gukje Market and the Bupyeong Kkangtong Market, the Jagalchi Market is Busan’s main traditional market. Let’s discover one of Korea’s largest fish markets, the Jagalchi Market!
The name of the market, “Jagalchi,” originates from the physical form of the area, which has many big pebbles (jagal) on the seashore. From the Japanese occupation, several fish street stalls were created in this area. Because of the Korean War, numerous refugees came to Busan, and many shanty houses were built around the area. As such, a number of fish street stalls were formed to become a large fish market, which is now the Jagalchi Market.
If you cross the road in Nampo-dong and continue toward the seaside, you will discover colorful parasols with seafood products on the stalls, which are lined on a narrow alley, with the background of a blue sky and the sound of waves and boat horns.
You will find live fish and seafood, including big octopuses in basins and baskets of street vendors. Sometimes, they sell lobsters, white sharks, baby sharks, sunfish, large squids, and so on. This is the real side of Busan’s Jagalchi Market.
This dynamic, outdoor Jagalchi Market is different from the neat and modern indoor market. If you come to the market in the early morning, you will see the market in full vitality. The fish products range from the dried fish to live, fresh fish, which was just caught from the sea. Moreover, busy merchants make the atmosphere of the market livelier as well.
The modern indoor market that consists of newly opened shops and old shops also offers full tanks of live fish. You might hear the friendly, inviting voice of a lady merchant offering a live fish.
Here, you can enjoy a dish of fresh sliced raw fish while appreciating the sea view in the city. You can also fully experience the Jagalchi Market and Busan’s sea while enjoying a dish of fresh sliced raw fish, grilled fish, and spicy stew.