This is part of a series of posts under the category Heart and Seoul 2014.
While most of the Buddhist temples can be found outside of Seoul or in the mountains, there’s one center of Zen Buddhism that is famous for being located in the heart of the city. This is Jogyesa Temple which is just a walking distance away from 126 Mansion. Jogyesa Temple is well connected to Insadong and is located on a street full of Buddhist specialty shops.
On our first day back in Seoul, and while waiting for our rooms to be ready, we decided to take a leisurely walk around the area and go to Jogyesa Temple. At that time, colorful lanterns were being hung and set up in the whole area. That was in preparation for the Lotus Lantern Festival. The lantern festival is usually held around the end of April to the middle of May. We were not able to catch the festival itself but we were lucky to see the lanterns hanging before the official kick-off.
Jogyesa Temple is famous because it’s a place where the Lotus Lantern Festival is celebrated.
The Lotus Lantern Festival celebrates Buddha’s birthday every year and the most magnificent one in all of Korea is probably held here in Jogyesa Temple.
The festival typically starts by hanging lotus-shaped lanterns throughout Seoul.
And we saw lots of them in Jogyesa Temple and along the street leading to Samcheong-dong. The festival officially kicks off with the lighting of a large lantern that symbolizes Buddhism at the Seoul Plaza.
This 2014, the Lotus Lantern Festival was held from April 25 to May 11. There were lantern parades and some traditional cultural events and performances.
If you want to go to Jogyesa temple, you might want to check out the map I posted way back in 2012. Or, you can follow either of these two subway directions:
- Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 2. Go 200m forward to arrive at Joggyesa Temple.
- Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Go 130m forward, and turn left at the Anguk Intersection (안국동사거리). Go 200m forward to arrive at Joggyesa Temple.
Until my next post, Annyeong!