A Hidden Lake That’s Not So Hidden Anymore In Cheongsong
Popular scenes from the movie “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring” were shot at the Jusanji Lake (주산지) located in Juwangsan National Park and up until then, this lake was pretty much a secret to everyone except the locals in the Cheongsong area.
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The three major broadcasting companies used shots of the serene water and willow trees while the Korean national anthem was played in the mornings, but other than that it was left alone. Since the movie was produced in 2003, people from not only Korea, but also the world, have come to the lake to witness the beauty of this off the beaten path location with their own eyes. The film is about a Buddhist monastery that floats on the water, the set has since been dismantled for ecological reasons, and revolves around a Buddhist monk as he passes through the seasons of his life. Trains don’t go down to Cheongsong and buses are rather infrequent and take many hours as they must pass through the mountains that dot the area. Only the most outgoing of visitors make the trip south.
The reservoir was built in 1721 and when the water filled it, willow trees that were once on the edge of the water ended up in the water which is one of the draws to the lake. The shortest walk to the water takes about thirty minutes over stone bridges into the forest on a path with just a slight incline. Walking along the trails, tourists can be heard discussing which season is the best to visit the area. Some proclaim that spring is the best when everything is new and just beginning to blossom, while others think the silence and nakedness of the forest in the winter is the best time to really feel the tranquility. Still others state that summer is the best when the foliage is full with intense greens surrounding everything while others love the colors of the leaves in the autumn. It seems no matter what season one visits, the views are a sensation and the feelings intense.
Jusanji Lake is not really anything to write home about in all honesty and I wouldn’t head to this area JUST to see this lake. However, when combined with a stop in Juwangsan National Park and visiting Daejeonsa Temple at the entrance as well as visiting Songso Gotaek and dinging on some famous blue chicken from the area, then the trip is totally worth it. Head there in the autumn, and you can also pick some apples in the fields and visit the Cheongsong Apple Festival. Visiting this remote area is not the easiest but all together, the views are stunning and since the area is remote, it means fewer people will be with you as you hike the trails to take it all in.
For a unique stay in the area, check out Chungwondang Hanok Houses to really experience traditional comfort in this beautiful area.
경상북도 청송군 부동면 이전리
Ijeon-ri Budong-myeon, Cheongsong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea
Directions: Buses from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal Depart at 6:20AM, 8:40AM, 11:40AM, 3PM & 4:30PM and takes at least four hours, direct buses to Juwangsang National Park depart at the same time. Any of the local buses from downtown Cheongsong to Juwangsan take 20 minutes.