A Rendezvous with YouCollected by: Davina Baum
AFAR Editor

Romance! Love! Locations around the world where lovers meet.

Tree of Hearts on the Jetty

On a jetty jutting out into the Sea of Japan, toward a pine-covered lighthouse isle, this metal tree of hearts is a rendezvous spot on the NE coast of South Korea. Visitors from all over Asia come to Sokcho to eat seafood and to see where scenes in "Autumn in my Heart," one of the first internationally famous Korean melodramas, were filmed. (The open-mouthed fish-"bench" makes for a curious pairing, no?)

To get here from Seoul: catch an 'express bus' from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal or Gangnam Express Bus Terminal. Buses from Gangnam let you off, after a few hours, at the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, which is just a five minute walk from this jetty. Adjacent is a 1-km-long stretch of white sand popular on weekends.

This unpretentious town is still a bit off the beaten path for most foreign visitors, although Seoraksan National Park is just west of Sokcho. The jumble of new construction (and lax zoning laws) gives this port-town kind of a frontier feel, but the people are friendly and the seafood is fresher than fresh.

(Note: within Korea, "The Sea of Japan" is officially referred to as "Donghae--The East Sea.")

Discuss: Want to know more? Ask about or comment on this Highlight!
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Colin Roohan
AFAR Ambassador

AFAR Ambassadors are in-the-know bloggers who have a passion for experiential travel.

The heart tree looks good as well!! Korea is receiving much deserved love right now!

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Perhaps Korea is finally coming into its own--up to now, it's always been overshadowed by Japan and Korea as a destination...I know that teenagers are getting more and more into "K-pop;" not my thing, but a fascinating phenomenon...

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There are several interesting contrasts in this photo in terms of shapes, shades and even the kind of dark mood of the sky compared with the optimistic hearts in the tree. Congratulations on your "Rendevous" theme win!

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Thanks! And same to you on your win! (...and now the nervous waiting to see who goes to India, eh?)

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Hi Joseph,

That's a great photo. However, there is controversial argument on the name of the sea between Korea and Japan. It's original name is 'East Sea' but Japan pushed 'Sea of Japan' as authorized name during the settling down process after World War 2. That is one of very sad historical legacy to all Koreans and it makes Koreans uncomfortable with the name 'Sea of Japan'.

You can find many ongoing stories if you search 'Sea of Japan and the East Sea' from Google.

If you don't mind, could you mark both of 'Sea of Japan' and 'the East Sea' in your posting? More Korean readers will be happy about it. ^ ^

Thank you!

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Steve--thanks for your interest! Yes, I'm aware of the naming controversy of the sea in this part of the world. In fact, in another of my highlights, I mentioned it: http://www.afar.com/highlights/baseball-in-the-background-mackerel-in-the-foreground-fresh-at-the-market-in
However, in the English-speaking world, this body of water is known as the "Sea of Japan," and that is why I referred to it that way in this highlight. And yes, travelers to Korea should be aware of the fact that the sea is officially known as the "Dong-hae" (East Sea) within the country. Happy travels...



Gangwon-do, South Korea
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