A journey to discover Busan’s traces of humanities.
Ancient Tombs in Bokcheon-dong / Bokcheon Museum / Dongnaeeupseong Imjinwaeran Museum
The first destination is Dongnae, which has various historical sites and relics.
The ancient tombs in Bokcheon-dong, which include the tombs of the Gaya Confederacy period’s ruling class, are considered as one of the most important cultural heritages for understanding Korea’s ancient culture. The Bokcheon Museum, on the other hand, displays many relics discovered from ancient tombs, showing Gaya’s excellent ironware culture and changes in ancient tomb styles.
The Dongnae area has been a significant excavation site, where several relics have been discovered. During the metro construction in 2005, a moat of the Dongnaeeupseong Walled Town was found in the site, telling the tragic story of the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. The relics and remains of soldiers who died during the war were also unearthed hundreds of years later. The Dongnaeeupseong Imjinwaeran Museum, which shows the reproduction of the excavation, is located inside the Busan Metro Suan Station Office.
Busan Museum / Busan Modern History Museum / National Memorial Museum of Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation
The Busan Museum is the second destination in discovering the history of Busan, from prehistoric times to modern times, undergoing a few periods of turbulence.
Built on the site of the former Oriental Development Company’s Busan Office, the Busan Modern History Museum shows the sorrows and painful times of Busan. After Korea’s independence, it was illegally used as the US Cultural Center in Busan for 50 years.
The National Memorial Museum of Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation is where visitors can experience the cruelty of Japanese imperialists who took everything away during the Joseon period. Along with other stories, such as the Joseon coal miners, soldiers, and women’s labor corps, the story of Japan’s forced mobilization should be shared and remembered.
Forty Stairs Cultural Center / Bosu Book Street
The Korean War left many traces in Busan. In particular, the Forty Stairs Cultural Center exhibits vivid records of the lives of war refugees who had to go up and down the Forty Stairs a dozen times a day to go to the Busanhang Port, Busan Station, etc.
During the most difficult times, people lacked books as well. The Bosu Book Street was established by street bookstores selling secondhand books. In this street, visitors still look for their required books as if they were in a treasure hunt.
Choi Min-Shik Gallery / Yosan Literary Museum
The Choi Min-Shik Gallery offers another way to recall those difficult times by exhibiting the photos of the refugees’ lives during the war, showing the photographer’s life and the world of artworks. In addition, the Yosan Literary Museum displays the literary works of novelist Kim Jeonghan, who was heavily criticized by powerful people who took advantage of the chaotic atmosphere at the time.
Busan Cinema Center / Busan Museum of Art / Busan National Science Museum
Now, Busan has become the heart of culture by overcoming the sorrows of the past and developing cultural spaces. In October, the Busan International Film Festival was held at the Busan Cinema Center. Since its establishment in 1998, the Busan Museum of Art has been the space to vitalize local art activities and create citizens’ emotional culture. In addition, the Busan National Science Museum offers citizens the opportunity to experience the world of science and imagination.
Eternal Journey / F1963
Furthermore, the Eternal Journey bookstore serves as an exotic cultural space with the theme “book curation,” while the F1963, transformed from the old wire mill into a cultural complex, offers various cultural and art activities. Today, Busan is the city of culture and arts.
1Return of the Gaya Kingdom at the Bokcheon Museum / Ancient Tombs in Bokcheon-dong
Forty tombs of the ancient kingdom of Gaya were discovered at the redevelopment of an old residential area. Without any sign of tomb robbery, the numerous historical artifacts were excavated from the perfectly conserved Gaya Kingdom tombs, including gilt-bronze crowns, earthenware, armor, and helmets. Artifacts that enlighten us on the outstanding ironware culture of Gaya various shapes of tombs are displayed at the Bokcheon Museum.
2History of Busan and the history of Korea
The museum named after Busan.
The Busan Museum represents Busan and embodies the history of the Republic of Korea.
Since its opening in November 1978, the Busan Museum has served not only as a place for Busan citizens to rest but also as a large-scale exhibition hall that covers the entire history of Busan from the Paleolithic Age to the modern times through the Goryeo Dynasty and the Joseon Dynasty.
3Busan Modern History Museum faces the modern history of Busan
The Japanese occupation is the painful history of the Republic of Korea. Busan, which was a bridgehead for Japan’s invasion of the continent, still retains the traces of the suffering left by Japan. Busan Modern History Museum tells the tumultuous history of Busan, urging us not to forget the brutal experiences.
4National Memorial Museum of Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation embraces the painful history
After the breakout of the Sino-Japanese War, the Empire of Japan, which had enacted the National Mobilization Law, forcibly mobilized the Koreans, exploiting their labor and infringing upon their human rights. The Koreans who were taken to Japan and Manchuria under the names of coal mine workers, soldiers, and women's labor corps had to suffer from famine and labor. It is an indelible, painful history. Let’s remember and spread knowledge about the heartbreaking history with the National Memorial Museum of Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation.
5Bosu Book Street: Put a bookmark in your mind
A way back in time
Put a bookmark in your mind in the Bosu Book Street
6Recall the history with Forty Stairs
What happened to the traveler who cried on the flight of the Forty Stairs away from their sweet home?
The Forty Stairs was a shelter for the refugees who yearned to go back to their hometown. Climb the 40 steps to experience what life’s sorrow must have been like for the refugees.
Located nearby Jungang Station of Busan Metro Line 1, the Forty Stairs became the center of the lives of the refugees gathered from all over the country to the old Busan Station building. The Forty Stairs served as the passage that connected Busanhang Port’s dock to the shantytown on the hillside, a square where separated families met, and a market for selling relief items. There used to be a saying called “Let’s meet by the Forty Stairs in Busan,” and some waited by the stairs believing these words. The Forty Stairs is a place that contains the sorrows of a refugee’s burdensome life around Busan Station.
7Choi Min-shik Gallery, a comfort for humans
Located on the second floor of Ami Cultural Learning Center, the gallery exhibits the photographs of Choi Min-shik, a documentary photographer whose field of activities is located in Jagalchi Market from the 1960s to the 1970s.
8Live like a human being - Yosan Literary Museum
As an open space for local citizens, Yosan Literary Museum was built as a tribute to the literary works of Yosan Kim Jeonghan, a novelist who revealed the lives of those who are isolated, residing at the edge of Busan.
9Busan Cinema Center, the landmark of cinematic city Busan
The Busan International Film Festival, a globally recognized event beyond Asia, is why Busan is called the city of cinema. Another landmark of Busan, along with the LED lighting on the big roof, is the Busan Cinema Center. During the film festival, important events are conducted, including the opening and closing ceremonies. Throughout the year, the space functions as a complex culture space where people can enjoy movies and performances. The tickets are affordable, while the imagery and sound are simply the best.
11Eternal journey with books
Recently, the term “hocance” has been gaining popularity, making the stay at hotels and resorts the ultimate purpose of a trip. The Eternal Journey book café in Hilton Busan was built for this purpose—to provide rest to visitors through books.
12If you know science, you can see the future. - Busan National Science Museum!
A total of 1.14 million of Busan citizens signed to establish the Busan National Science Museum. Considering the 3.5 million population of Busan, you can imagine how much the citizens wanted to have a local science museum. With such a huge interest and support, the Busan National Science Museum was established with the design of a ship as if it wishes to sail away with future scientists.