OWL Magazine Korea

Paju’s Imjingak: National Tourist Destination

Imjingak, also known as “Imjingak National Tourist Destination” or “Imjingak Peace Nuri Park,” is a tourist destination located at the farthest point along Route 1 where civilians could go, established in 1972 for North Korean defectors.

Since its establishment, Imjingak has undergone continuous development, with various facilities being added over time. Recently, a cable car has been installed, providing yet another attraction.

After visiting Imjingak in 2018, I had the opportunity to visit once again after a long time, and I noticed some changes from before.

“Imjingak: Pavilion on the Imjin River”

“Imjingak” means “Pavilion on the Imjin River.” This building, erected in 1972, consists of three above-ground floors and one underground floor. The underground floor houses a souvenir shop, the first floor is utilized for convenience stores, cafes, galleries, and the second floor features a traditional Korean restaurant and souvenir shop. The third floor hosts an exhibition hall and a cafe, with an observatory on the rooftop.

“Imjin River Bridge and Broken Bridge”

At Imjingak, you can explore the Imjin River Bridge and the Broken Bridge. When viewed from the Imjingak Observatory, you can spot the severed bridge, which is the Broken Bridge. Admission to the Broken Bridge is available for a fee.

“Underground Bunker: ART SPACE BEAT 131”

Next to the Broken Bridge, you can find an exhibition hall created by renovating a bunker that was used as a military facility during the Korean War. While the bunker isn’t very large, it served as a bunker during the war, and afterwards, it was used as a military facility for some time.

It is now operated as an exhibition hall and requires a fee for entry. If you only wish to enter the bunker, an admission fee of 1,000 KRW is required, while a combined ticket for both the bunker and Broken Bridge provides a slight discount.

“Jangdan Station Steam Locomotive”

Near the entrance to the Broken Bridge, you can see the steam locomotive boiler of Jangdan Station on the Gyeongui Line. On December 31, 1950, in the midst of the Korean War, a coalition forces train carrying military supplies and provisions departed from Gaeseong Station and was en route to Sinuiju Station when, due to tactics by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, the coalition forces were forced to retreat to Seoul, fearing that the steam locomotive would fall into the hands of North Korean forces. Around 10 PM that night, the coalition forces indiscriminately fired upon and destroyed the locomotive at Jangdan Station.

After its destruction, the locomotive remained abandoned and rusting about 50 meters from the tracks near Jangdan Station for almost half a century. It was designated as Registered Cultural Heritage No. 78 on February 6, 2004. After undergoing restoration, including rust removal, in November 2007, it was relocated from the North Korean Demilitarized Zone to Imjingak for exhibition.

“Railway Discontinuation Point: Mika 244”

As it is located in the border area with North Korea, you can also visit the “Railway Discontinuation Point.” This place evokes the slogan, “I Want the Train to Run.”

“Peace Nuri Park”

Peace Nuri Park was created in 2005 in commemoration of the World Peace Summit. It transformed Imjingak, which was a symbol of division and the Cold War, into a symbol of reconciliation, coexistence, peace, hope, and reunification on approximately 990,000 square meters of wide grassy hills.

At the park’s entrance, there is a Life Candle Pavilion, and along the Life Road, you can find facilities such as the Sharing Traditional Play Experience Zone, Candle Shop, UNICEF Children’s Pavilion, and more.

Beyond the Life Candle Pavilion, there is a Hill of Music, a large grassy hill and outdoor performance venue capable of accommodating approximately 25,000 spectators.

You can also find the Hill of Wind here. With approximately 3,000 rotating windmills, it is a representative photo spot.

“Peace Land”

At Imjingak, you can visit the small-scale amusement park called Peace Land. You can find simple rides and facilities such as:

  • Peace Train
  • Rotary Cup
  • Super Viking
  • Adventure Trip
  • Jumper Boat
  • Mini Viking
  • Bumper Car
  • Bumper Boat
  • Music Express
  • Sky Tea Cup
  • Merry-Go-Round
  • Baby Train
  • Eureka
  • Motorcycle
  • Wave Swinger
  • Lightning Train
  • Goblin House
  • Jumping Star
  • Fire Truck

“Imjingak Peace Cable Car”

The Imjingak Peace Cable Car has reopened. Construction began in December 2018, and it officially opened on September 15, 2020.

When you ride the monorail, it covers a distance of 850 meters from Imjingak, which is within the civilian access control line, to Baekyeon-ri in the military zone.

“DMZ Security Tour”

A prominent purpose of visiting Imjingak is the “DMZ Security Tour” conducted here.

You can bring your identification and purchase the security tour ticket on-site. The course includes two options: “Dorasan Station – Dora Observatory – 3rd Tunnel – Heo Jun Shrine – Haemaru Village – Unification Village.” Since the content related to the Imjingak DMZ Security Tour is extensive, it will be covered in a separate article.

Paju’s Imjingak: National Tourist Destination”

  • Address of Imjingak Tourist Destination: 1198-1 Majeong-ri, Munsan-eup, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
  • Phone Number: 031-953-4744