OWL Magazine Korea

Incheon, Cultural Heritage “Hongye Gate”

Hongye Gate, located in downtown Incheon, is an arched tunnel designated as Cultural Heritage No. 49 by the Incheon Metropolitan City on December 23, 2002.

History of Incheon’s Hongye Gate

During the opening of the port, Japanese residents residing in areas such as Jungang-dong and Gwandong adjacent to Incheon Port dug this stone gate to expand their residence to Jeondong and Manseok-dong. At that time, it was the only passage when moving from the Japanese consulate or the port to Manseok-dong, bypassing Hwapyeong-dong through Nae-dong and Yongdong Maru. However, it was inconvenient, so a plan was made to cut the Maru slope south of Mt. Eungbong and create Hongye Gate. The Hongye Gate, with a width of 4.5m, a height of 13m, and a passage length of 13m, was initiated by the Japanese Engineering Corps in 1905 and completed in 1908, creating a road connecting Upper Incheon and Lower Incheon.

Hongye Gate is still in use as a road. However, being an old-designed tunnel, only one car can pass through at a time. Reflective mirrors are installed on both sides of the tunnel, allowing drivers to yield to each other and pass through one vehicle at a time.

Located midway on the Jung-gu tourist route connecting from Dap-dong Cathedral to Nae-dong Cathedral, the Songhak-dong area, Freedom Park, and Chinatown, Hongye Gate provides a view of Incheon Inner Harbor, Incheon Bridge, and Songdo International City in the south. In the north, you can enjoy the view of Cheongna International City.

Cultural Heritage No. 49 of Incheon Metropolitan City

Incheon Metropolitan City designated Hongye Gate as Cultural Heritage No. 49. The following is an introduction to Hongye Gate provided by Incheon Metropolitan City:

“Hongye Gate,” meaning a gate shaped like a rainbow, was constructed by the Japanese Engineering Corps in 1906 and completed in 1908, responsible for the construction of the railroad. It is a stone gate built like a tunnel, cutting through the rock of Mt. Eungbong, with a height of approximately 13m and a width of approximately 7m. The location is Songhak-dong 3ga 20, Jung-gu, Incheon, and the area is 1,952.6㎡.

At the time of construction, as the number of Japanese residents residing in Incheon Central District and Gwandong rapidly increased, they dug through Hongye Gate to expand their territory toward Manseok-dong. Japanese residents referred to this gate as “Ketsumon.”

Unexpectedly, the construction encountered a massive rock, resulting in a prolonged construction period. It is preserved in its original form, representing a cultural heritage that provides insights into Japan’s civil engineering methods during that era.

Passing through Hongye Gate, you will travel through a narrow two-lane road, and from the road above Hongye Gate, you can overlook Incheon Port.

Being close to Freedom Park, this tunnel is worth exploring while traveling through Jung-gu, the downtown area of Incheon.

Incheon Hongye Gate