The forest has kept its natural condition unopened to the public throughout the Japanese occupation, liberation, war, and industrialization.
The Ahopsan Forest in Gijang-gun, Busan, is a place that was not open to the world for 400 years.
“Ahopsan” of Ahopsan Forest is a pure Korean word that means embracing the nine valleys.
The place became known to the world after becoming the filming location for the movie Kundo: Age of the Rampant in 2014. In 2016, the owners who managed the forest for 400 years decided to open the place to the public. The forest was designated as a green belt and water source conservation area for a long time, preserving the healthy natural environment and ecosystem.
Once you pass the ticket booth, your journey to the nine mountains begins. The directions are easy to follow on trails, ensuring safe travel as long as you follow the arrows. Inside the Ahopsan Forest are the bamboo habitat, red pine trees, hinoki cypress trees, oak trees, and other trees. The vast forest has a magnificent feel that only visitors can understand. A total of 116 trees are designated as protected trees, showing how long and precious the history of the forest is.
Even though the forest is home to many types of trees, what represents the place is the bamboo habitat. There are two bamboo forests within the nine mountains. The Maengjongjuk Forest (used as a place for shamanic ritual before) is the first one encountered along the trail. Go into the dense bamboo forest and look up to the sky to see the glistening sunlight between the leaves. The second bamboo forest is a flat bamboo field known as the bamboo tree–lined trail. The bamboo forest densely populates both sides of the path to block most light, allowing visitors to take a stroll.
Once you reach the entrance past the tall trees untouched by people over many years, you will come across the Gwanmiheon, the head house belonging to the family that manages the forest. Gwanmiheon, meaning “Keeping an eye out for even the most trivial grass-like bracken,” was built in the traditional method without using any nails and still uses a wooden furnace.
It takes 1 to 2 hours to explore all the trails of the Ahopsan Forest. The fragrance of trees, the birds singing, and the cool shade created by trees are more than enough to rejuvenate the hearts of those tired of busy daily life. Why don’t you walk through the old trees at the Ahopsan Forest this weekend to relieve stress?
Pack water and wear comfortable walking shoes.
Free rental of mosquito spray and fan.
Reservation required for group tourist bus visits.
Stroller, bicycle, hiking equipment (sticks, etc.) are prohibited.
Plant and insect collection are prohibited.
No pets allowed.