Up until now we have been focusing on the Japan/ Hollywood connection, exploring locations in Japan used for various Hollywood films as well as introducing you to a film theme park located in Kyoto. But now, let’s take a quick look at locations used by the Japanese film industry.
One such setting is located just across the Sea of Japan at Japan’s neighbor in the west, South Korea. I am referring to Hapcheon Image Theme Park located 200 miles south of Seoul.
With non-stop flights from Nagasaki, Japan lasting an hour and 25 minutes, it is close enough for overseas filming and a must see destination if you are a film/ Korean drama buff. But, be aware that there isn’t much else to do aside from the theme park in Hapcheon, so plan accordingly.
The theme park came into existence in 2004 and covers an area measuring 74,629 square meters. The park is divided into two sections, one section housing sets owned and operated by KBS (http://www.kbs.co.kr/) and another housing sets owned and operated by MBC (http://www.imbc.com/).
The KBS sets include reproductions of famous Seoul landmarks such as Seoul Station, the Chosun Governor-General Office, and the Bando Hotel, as they appeared in the 1930s -1960s. MBC’s sets primarily contain reproductions of streets from Sogong-dong, Seoul from the 1970s-80s. There are a total of 152 replica buildings housed here. Some of the buildings are constructed to resemble the ones that existed during the Japanese occupation of Korea and you can see Japanese signs throughout the park
As a matter of fact, two scenes from the 2013 Japanese war film directed by Yasuo Furuhata, entitled Boy Called H (少年Ｈ), were filmed here.
Other films/ TV dramas filmed at the Hapcheon Image Theme Park include: “Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War”, “Seoul 1945”, “East of Eden”, “Modern Boy”, “Jeon Woo Chi”, “Light and Shadow” and “Bridal Mask.”
The park is open from 9:00AM – 6:00 PM. By car, the journey will take you roughly 3.5 hours from Seoul. You can also take a bus from the Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal towards Hapcheon. There are five buses daily at 10:08, 12:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:45. From the Hapcheon Bus Terminal, you will need to connect to a local bus headed towards the Hapcheon Image Theme Park. (15 minute journey)
Address: 757, Hapcheonhosu-ro, Yongju-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do