Ulsan has been the habitat for migratory whales swimming in the ocean off the western east coast since prehistoric times. Hence, Jangsangpohang Port became an outpost of whalers, making Ulsan a central city for whale fishing.
Ulsan Whale Festival holds a program recreating whale fishing through historic research and evidence. Other events centered on the theme of whales are also held. Another attraction at Ulsan Whale Festival is watching the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean at Gyeunposeongji and Ganjeolgot. Ulsan Whale Festival is an effort to revive the Korea whale culture and to celebrate Ulsan’s history of whale fishing.
About the Festival: As one of Ulsan’s most important festivals, 'Ulsan Whale Festival' is operated mainly in the form of Ulsan’s hands-on local folk programs and animal rights programs. The traditional Ulsan method of whale fishing is recreated off the coast of Ulsan. This recreation is based on historical evidence, with a large number of people dressed in traditional outfits who perform 'Madangnori' that demonstrates the art of whale fishing. This is a great opportunity to observe traditional whale fishing. Also, you can experience Japan’s traditional whale fishing with traditional drumming and cultural performances.
There’s also a Whale Singing Competition for amateur singers from all over Korea, and whale cake-making competition for families, demonstrations by ice sculptors who also act as helping hands for families attempting to compete in making whale ice sculptures. Other hands-on programs include making whales out of clay in a competition, and whale drawing competitions.
Festival Highlights: Visitors are asked to express their opinions about whale fishing. The visitors are asked to mark with a sticker whether they support or oppose whale fishing. Therefore, if you are interested in the issue of whale fishing, this festival is a great place to voice your thoughts. The festival also provides comprehensive information on whales and whale fishing through the Whale Theme Park, the whale picture exhibition as well as whale related NGO exhibitions.
Transportation ① Take the train(KTX) bound for Ulsan at Seoul Station (5:30- 23:00 / travel time: 2hrs 20min/ Intervals: 30-60min)
② Another alternative is to take the bus bound for Ulsan at Seoul Gangnam Bus Terminal (6:00am – 24:20pm / Intervals: 15-60min, travel time: 5hrs)
From Train station or Bus terminal, Take a taxi to festival venue(travel time about 20 – 30 minutes) Fax +82-52-226-2996 Homepage www.whalekorea.com (Korean, English, Japanese)