Tongin Market 통인시장
Closed on Mondays and third Sunday of the month.
Free to visit.
Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3, exit 2). 10 mins walk.
Tongin Market was established in June 1941 for Japanese residents during the Japanese occupation (1910-1945).
The market was converted for Korean street vendors after the Korean War. It has 75 stores, most of which are restaurants and grocery shops.
A visit to Tongin Market is an interesting experience where you can make your own lunch box with food from different stores, purchased with Yeopjeong (brass coins).
How it works:
Purchase a bunch of 10 brass coins for 5,000 won (per person) at the market entrance or Dosirak Cafe on Level 2. Each brass coin is valued at 500 won. You will be given an empty plastic lunch box.
With your lunch box, walk along Tongin Market alleyway and fill up with food that you like at participating stores with the membership sign. Most food costs around 1-2 coins. You can pay by cash at non-participating stores or when you run out of brass coins.
Once you have filled up your lunch box, go to the 2nd floor cafe for utensils (free), water (free), rice/soup (2 coins or 1,000 won each). You can have your meal at the 2nd floor cafe or the air-conditioned 3rd floor to enjoy your lunch box.
Besides Tongin Market, other top places to check out at Seochon (Sejong) Village include the stone plaque on King Sejong birthplace, oldest book store in Seoul, popular cafes, Tosokchon Samgyetang's famous Ginseng Chicken Soup and Sejong Village Food Street.
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