OWL Magazine Korea

Incheon Chinatown: ‘Jajangmyeon Museum’

Incheon Chinatown offers a variety of Chinese cuisine, with one of its notable dishes being Jajangmyeon, known to have originated in Incheon. Thanks to this, you can explore the “Jajangmyeon Museum” in Chinatown.

“Incheon Chinatown: Jajangmyeon Museum”

The Jajangmyeon Museum in Chinatown opened by remodeling the old Gonghwachun building. It is the first Jajang-themed museum in Korea, continuously creating various content related to Jajangmyeon, recognized as a cultural heritage. The museum consists of six permanent exhibition halls and one special exhibition hall. Here, the origin, history, and cultural aspects of Jajangmyeon are displayed chronologically, with various themed exhibitions held annually.

“The Birth of Korean-style Jajangmyeon”

After the opening of Incheon’s port, Chinese restaurants naturally emerged in the Chinatown area due to the settlement of Qing Dynasty nationals. Dockworkers from the nearby Incheon Port frequented these Chinese eateries, leading to the creation of Jajangmyeon as an affordable and easy-to-eat dish. Unlike the traditional Jajangmyeon eaten with Chinese black bean sauce and noodles, Korean-style Jajangmyeon gained popularity by adding sweet caramel and maintaining appropriate moisture. This innovation established Jajangmyeon as a representative Korean-Chinese dish.

“Jajangmyeon Museum on the Site of the Former Gonghwachun Restaurant”

The Jajangmyeon Museum is erected on the site where the old Gonghwachun restaurant, considered the birthplace of Korean Jajangmyeon, once stood. The two-story brick building on granite stone showcases modern cultural heritage, depicting the lifestyle of the Chinese community. Despite Gonghwachun’s success as a prominent Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, it closed in 1983 due to government policies restricting the property rights of overseas Chinese.

Currently, the Jajangmyeon Museum exhibits artifacts related to Jajangmyeon and Gonghwachun, recreating the past kitchen and hospitality scenes. Notably, there’s a space replicating the appearance of Jajangmyeon eaten on graduation day, attracting many visitors for commemorative photos.

“Admission Fee Applies”

There is an admission fee. For individuals visiting only the Jajangmyeon Museum, the fee is 1,000 won for adults. A combined ticket is available for all five museums, including Jajangmyeon Museum, priced at 3,400 won per person.

If you’re curious about where the commonly known dish, Jajangmyeon, originated, the Jajangmyeon Museum is a great place to visit.

“Incheon Chinatown, Jajangmyeon Museum”