Exploring Korean Shamanism in downtown Seoul
Would you like to see some sites that are "truly Korean" and yet quite unusual? This tour is entirely "off the beaten path" but is also right on a corner of downtown Seoul.
It includes Inwang-san [Benevolent King Mtn], Seoul's center of Shamanic shrines and practice, and an interesting park with relics of the Joseon Dynasty's royal Neo-Confucian heritage. These are rarely-seen yet fascinating sites overlooking the busy modern centers of financial and government power.
Our walking-tour will conveniently meet and finish at Metro subway stations. As the shrines are built on a very steep slope, some uphill walking is necessary on cement stairways, roads and paths; but it's worth it! This tour can meet on any day at any time at the Station, or I can pick you up at your hotel.
I am a well-known expert on both Korean Buddhism and Korea's folk-religion traditions, and will give a fascinating tour! You will learn a lot about both Confucian & Shamanic beliefs & practices, and see some amazing photo-perfect sights!
We meet at your hotel or the Gyeongbok-gung Metro Subway Station.
I will show you around Sajik Park, including the Joseon-Dynasty Altars to the Earth and Harvest and the large statues of a great Neo-Confucian philosopher and his mother.
Then we will visit the large modern shrine for Korea's Founding-King Dangun just up behind the Park, and learn about his myth and its continuing modern significance.
Then we will proceed to walk for about 20 minutes up to the "Benevolent King" temple/shrine complex of Inwang-san, the very rocky mountain just west of the Palace, which has been the most active site of Korean shamanism for thousands of years.
We will see the mystic Seon-bawi rocks, the Guksa-dang National Spirit Shrine, several examples of active outdoor shamanic shrines, and stand on top of a giant boulder for one of the best views of Seoul there is.
We just might see some live-action Shamanism happening right in front of us - or we may not, you never know. When finished, we walk back down a shorter way.
Meeting Point + Tour Duration
Meeting Point Options: Rail or Bus Station, Cruise Ship Port, Airport, Hotel, Address or Intersection, Monument/Building
End Point Options: Rail or Bus Station, Cruise Ship Port, Airport, Hotel, Address or Intersection, Monument/Building
Duration: 3 hours 30 min.
this walking-tour can be anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours in total time, depending on your interest. Plenty to see up there!
Easy to get there and back by taxi or other public transport; it's very close to downtown. On the mountain, we're just walking...
Estimated Local Cash Needed
5000 KRW - No cash needed, except if you'd like to make a donation or get a snack or drink at the little shop among the shrines. There is no entrance fee.
I do not have a car in Korea, do not drive. I can arrange for a mini-bus or taxi if you wish, at extra expense. Otherwise we will use the cheap taxis that are easy to catch, and Korea's excellent and fast system of subway trains, and buses, together.
A Recent Review of this tour
Read More Reviews For This Tour
Great tour! Got to see a shamanic village and was lucky enough to find an actual ceremony happening on the mountain. Copious information, and David was very flexible and accommodating to our wishes. It was very cool to have a guide that could take us to these little known nooks, very off the beaten path. Some of the locals knew him too. Very highly recommended for those who are interested in the shamanic and folk rituals of Korea. Couldn't get a better guide for this tour!