How to get to Seokbulsa Temple

Reflections on my time in Busan for


A few weeks ago my friend Luke, who I travelled to Japan with a few years back and played football alongside while I was living in Korea, contacted me with regard to writing a lifestyle/opinion piece on my time in Busan for his new website;

Hiking Seokbulsa


This trail will begin to go downhill, and you’ll go down stairs, across a small stream, and probably more stairs. Follow it for no more than 10 minutes.Went out to the temple, Seokbulsa (석불사). Admittedly, this is not easy to find or to hike to. I got my directions from Meet You In Korea -but still had to ask at least half a dozen random hikers for clarification.

This is the information from about the temple from their site:

My husband is awesome!

There are so many reasons why Aaron is awesome, but today, I'm gonna focus on something that recently happened that made me so proud of him!  About 3 months back, Aaron was contacted by the General Manager of the brand new Park Hyatt Marine City Hotel, in Busan, and asked to submit photographs of landmarks in Busan. They needed the photos immediately, so Aaron went out right away and took the most stunning photos of 4 of Busan's most famous landmarks: Beomeosa Temple, the Gwangan Bridge, Yonggungsa Temple on the water and Seokbulsa Temple.  The Hotel's GM was over the moon when Aaorn submitted the photos and they were quickly approved by the big wigs at the headquarter in America and Aaron was promptly sent a hefty check for his work...

Seokbulsa: A Hidden Treasure in Busan

Earlier this fall, Ric and I hiked up to tiny Seokbulsa temple.  Located off the Oncheonjang stop on Line 1, the temple is a hidden treasure built right into Geumjeong Mountain.  The hike up to the temple starts with a ride up the mountain in a cable car, affording an amazing view of the entire city. 

ImageThe cable car let us off a short hike from Geumjeongsan Fortress, an ancient fortification that surrounds the summit of the mountain.  Of course,we had to stop there for a photo op or two.  

The search for Seokbulsa…


Since arriving in Korea and setting my feet on its mountainous land I have always been aware of Seokbulsa (석불사) temple. It is often alluded to in expat blogs and is high on the Lonely Planet’s guide of things to see in Korea. After moving to Busan in June last year it had become an even greater priority on my list of things to do and due to various excuses taken me fully nine months to find the time and opportunity to discover it. For months I have had the detailed directions to find this hidden Buddhist Temple anonymously catching dust on the roof of my fridge, sheepishly desiring my attention amongst forgotten bills and half-finished books.

seokbulsa, stone buddha temple

there are more temples here in busan than i could ever muster enough interest to visit in my year-long stint here. most people just hit the big ones, yonggungsa and beomeosa and rave about the particular beauty of the beach temple. any visit to either of these places, you can expect to see a lot of other people, hear a lot of chanting and smell a lot of incense. they’re immersive cultural experiences, to be sure, but lonely planet had it right when they named seokbulsa, the stone buddha temple, as their #1 place to visit in busan. yesterday, i hiked with a few friends from school up a mountain in oncheonjang to see it for ourselves.

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