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Dear Korea #143: Feeding Homesickness

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In case you missed the news last week, I will be selling the first Dear Korea book in Seoul this weekend! Come on down to the High Street Market in Itaewon and have lunch with me!


While this week’s comic may feel like it was sponsored, it totally wasn’t. In all honesty, I tend to spend way too much money while trying to get a taste of home. Never in my life did I think I’d ever be dropping fat stacks on Cheetos that haven’t been covered in sugar.

I’m all for embracing Korean cuisine and everything it has to offer, but when I miss home, there’s very little that can fill that void other than buying a bunch of things that feel familiar.

Hmm. Maybe I do have a problem.

Jen Lee's Dear Korea

This is Jen Lee. She likes to draw.
She also likes green tea.

Got any questions, comments, or maybe even some delicious cookies you want to send through the internet? Feel free to contact us at dearkoreacomic at gmail dot com.

You can also leave comments on the comic’s Facebook Page!


South Korea’s E-6 Entertainment Visa Traps Foreign Women In Sex Industry

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Recently, news reports of Korean & foreign women being raped or murdered have thrust South Korea into the international spotlight. But, another crime affecting females (that also affects males to a lesser extent) is sex trafficking. Korea FM recently spoke with Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, & James Pond, global director of survivor care for Hope For Justice, to learn more about South Korea’s E-6 visa program that is used to lure young women as hotel or entertainment employees before being pressured or forced into sex work.


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 Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.








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The post South Korea’s E-6 Entertainment Visa Traps Foreign Women In Sex Industry appeared first on Korea FM.

If you’re in Fukuoka, you really should make the time to travel...

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If you’re in Fukuoka, you really should make the time to travel out to Kyushu National Museum (九州国立博物館). The subway ride out to Daizaifu has especially pretty artsy train cars  —okay, I’m ruining it, but there are cherry blossoms on the roof of the cars and it’s pretty, right? 

The history of the area is interesting since Dazaifu was the original local seat of power for imperial rule covering Kyushu after it was moved from present-day Fukuoka City in 663, and then it was moved back there during the Muromachi period. It’s played a significant role since there were close ties and trade between Korea and China, and visiting dignitaries arriving in Japan would stay in the area. The museum gave me a good overview and had some really neat artifacts from Japan, Korea, and China. 

There are some ruins that you might want to check out by bicycle, but Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine and the touristy streets nearby were the real highlight for me. There are a variety of festivals held at various shrines across town throughout the year. If possible, try to attend the monthly flea market in the grounds of Tenmangu Shrine, where kimonos are rumored to be found for 1000¥.

Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 9:30 am - 5:00 pm, When Monday is a public holiday, the museum will be open on Monday but closed the following business day.

Address: Japan, 〒818-0118 Fukuoka Prefecture, Dazaifu, 石坂4丁目7-2

Phone: +81 92-918-2807


Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.


Registration for May 28th Meeting Open!!

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Soooo…..Spring sprung and sprang it’s way out of here, as it appears we are straight into the hot months of summer.  But that doesn’t stop the tasting exploration, as this Saturday is April’s MMPK regular meeting!  Usually we would entice you with pictures of food and fridges taken from the many internet people who have checked out the location before us, but this place is so new there aren’t any yet.

Big question mark

The place we are visiting is a brand new remodeled hanok in a quiet back alley of the Insadong neighborhood, that features one of the most impressively stocked fridges of top shelf makgeolli we have seen.  And yes, full disclosure, this location has been previewed in person due to the lack of online information, and the snippet of what we saw was enough for us to commit!  What was it that sealed the deal you might ask?  Guacamole.  Yes you heard us, top shelf makgeolli paired with tortilla chips and guacamole.  Done deal.

So if you want to join us on the front lines of exploring this fresh off the press location, send and email to to sign up:)

Makgeolli Mamas & Papas

Registration for April 28th Meeting Open!!

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Soooo…..Spring sprung and sprang it’s way out of here, as it appears we are straight into the hot months of summer.  But that doesn’t stop the tasting exploration, as this […]

Samgyetang – Ginseng Chicken Stew

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Samgyetang (삼계탕) – A Chicken-Ginseng Stew

Samgyetang is a healthy stew of chicken and ginseng. It is traditionally served during summer to help boost stamina when the heat drains the body of energy.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 cup of glutinous rice
  • jujubes or asian dates
  • ginseng
  • asian chestnuts
  • whole garlic
  • 1 whole onion
  • green onion
  • whole pepper
  • salt


  1. Rinse, then soak the rice for at least an hour (overnight if possible)
  2. Clean the chicken, inside and out.
  3. Stuff the chicken cavity with rice, then place in pot.
    To keep the rice inside, one method is to cut one thigh and insert the other leg through the cut.
  4. Add other ingredients and water.
  5. With a pressure cooker, cook 10~15 minutes.
    For stovetop, bring to a boil, then cook on low heat for 1~3 hours.
  6. Serve.


We hope you enjoy this recipe. Let us know if you made it and how it turned out.

Gulamsa Temple – 굴암사 (Eonyang, Ulsan)

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The view out onto Eonyang in Ulsan from Gulamsa Temple.

Hello Again Everyone!!

On the southern side of Mt. Neungsan lies the unique Gulamsa Temple in northern Eonyang-eup, Ulsan. In fact, as you make your way towards the temple, and around Mt. Neungsan, you’ll notice that the mountain has been damaged by fire in its recent past. But it’s also from the same heights that you get beautiful views of Eonyang down below.

After summiting the mountain, and making a partial decent down the south side of the mountain, you’ll first notice the modern looking visitors centre at Gulamsa Temple. It’s just past this that you round the corner and get some more amazing views of the city down below from the observation deck at Gulamsa Temple.

But it’s to your back that you’ll find the entry to the highly unique main hall at Gulamsa Temple. Up a set of stairs and past some beautifully manicured shrubs, you’ll notice the entrance to the main hall, which also just so happens to be housed inside a cave. This mid-sized cave houses a solitary granite statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) on the main altar. Book-ending the main altar statue of Seokgamoni-bul are two stunning jade pagodas that stand about four feet in height. To the right of the main altar are two more stone statues. The first, on the left, is Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). And she’s joined to the right by Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).

Outside the cave shrine hall, and to the far left, is a stone relief of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife), carved into the face of the mountain. And littered throughout the cracks and crevices of the mountain are various statuettes of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas left behind by temple devotees.

HOW TO GET THERE: To get to Gulamsa Temple, you’ll first need to get to the Eonyang Intercity Bus Terminal. From here, you’ll need to take a taxi to the temple. The taxi ride will cost around 5,000 won and take 15 minutes. From where the taxi drops you off, you’ll need to walk an additional 300 metres to Gulamsa Temple.

OVERALL RATING: 5/10. This is another hard temple to rate. While Gulamsa Temple has one of the more unique main halls, as well as some pretty amazing views, the temple only consists of a cave shrine hall.


The view from the scenic mountain.


Part of the fire scorched mountain where Gulamsa Temple is located.


The trail that leads towards the temple.


A look down upon Eonyang and Gulamsa Temple.


The entry to the cave that houses most of what Gulamsa Temple has to offer.


An inscription on the mountain’s rock face.


Some of the icons left behind by devotees.


To the left of the cave entry is this beautiful stone carving.


The entry to the cave main hall at Gulamsa Temple.


A look inside the cave shrine hall with a stone statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) front and centre.


To the right of the main hall are these statues of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit)


One last look down at Eonyang from Gulamsa Temple.

We took the ferry between Busan and Fukuoka...

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February 6 - 11, 2016

We took the ferry between Busan and Fukuoka (Hakata port), which was really simple and fast. The ferry was ‎24,000¥ (or 237,000₩) round-trip and took a little less than 3-hours one-way. It was super easy to make reservations and pay ahead of time over the phone with the Busan Port International Passenger Terminal.

Check out the original post here.

Kaitlyn and Taylor were my guides to The National Art Center...

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Kaitlyn and Taylor were my guides to The National Art Center (国立新美術館). The walk from Harajuku was beautiful and the view from the outside competes with the art inside. 

The National Art Center has no permanent collection or display, but is actually groups of temporary sponsored exhibitions. I’ve heard the building described as what would happen if the Apple Store and MoMa had a baby (if inanimate objects could procreate), which is pretty on point.

Address: 7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-8558, Japan

Directions: Walk from Nogizaka Station (Chiyoda line) or Roppongi Station (Oedo, Hibiya lines)

Hours: Closed Tuesdays; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday10:00 am - 6:00 pm; Friday 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

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