Ikseon-dong is a neighborhood located in Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea, where alleys and hanok are combined to give off a beautiful charm, and is emerging as a hot place for many tourists of all ages. It is also a place that connects the generation between the younger generation and the elderly.

After being designated as a hanok conservation district in 2018, Ikseon-dong has rapidly emerged as a strange time travel destination in Seoul, a high-tech city, in line with the retro and newtro craze since 2019. Ikseon-dong, which has a narrow and dense alley like bloodline between small hanoks, has not become a topic of conversation, but the entire area has drawn attention like a single travel product. It functions as a space where consumption and cultural activities take place at the same time by eating food in Ikseon-dong, drinking coffee, going to bookstores, arcades, or beer shops and taking pictures.

Ikseon-dong is a very old hanok dense area and boasts a history of about 100 years. The area of 165 Ikseon-dong, designated as a hanok village, was the site of Nudonggung Palace, the private residence of King Cheoljong's birth wife, Jeongye Daewongun. However, in 1910, the Korean Empire collapsed due to the Gyeongsul national rule, and Lee Hae-seung of Cheongpung-gun, the grandson of Jeonggye Daewongun, who became a noble Korean after receiving a marquis from the Japanese colonial rule, sold the site of Nudong Palace in 1930 and moved to present-day Hongeun-dong.

And the site was bought by Jeong Se-kwon, a real estate developer and national activist in Seoul at the time of Japanese colonial era. At that time, Jeong was a person who strongly opposed the Japanese policy of exterminating the people and supported the independence movement. At that time, when the Japanese tried to penetrate throughout the four gates of Seoul in Ikseon-dong, they divided the land of Ikseon-dong, which was close to 10,000 pyeong, and built small hanoks with less than 15 pyeong and sold them to ordinary Koreans.[1] Since it was a hanok built in Japanese colonial era during the period, most of them were improved hanok period.

Until the early 2000s, Ikseon-dong was a quiet hanok concentration village that was not well known in Seoul. However, as all existing hanoks have declined and the surrounding Jongno commercial districts have been developed, the need for development of this area has also been raised. Therefore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government planned to demolish all existing hanoks and implement redevelopment projects in the early 2000s to create apartment complexes. But the redevelopment plan drifts for more than a decade In the end, it was canceled. This is linked to the commercialization of the Ikseon-dong area.

Starting with Ikseondada in the mid-2010s, developers entered the area, renovated some of the hanoks, and started operating accessories stores or small cafes. With the development of the commercial district, many young small business owners flowed in. The owners of hanok opposed the redevelopment plan as they adapted to the life of giving up stores to merchants and receiving monthly rent.

Moreover, with the development of SNS culture and frequent filming of various movies, dramas, and commercials in Hanoks in Ikseon-dong, Ikseon-dong has emerged as a new dating course and tourist commercial area in downtown Seoul. In particular, in the late 2010s, Ikseon-dong's popularity increased even more thanks to the Newtro Syndrome.

Even though the main gate of the hanok looks narrow, any store is bound to be surprised when it opens. This is because of the sophisticated and luxurious interior that was not guessed outside, and each store has a wide range of concepts. In addition to arcades, beer bars, photo studios, and sometimes cafes hold ingenious exhibitions. You can't miss the fun of looking at the flagship store that cosmetics and fashion brands are scramble to open.

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