The majestic Mount Sorak and the blue waves of Korea's eastern sea have blessed the city of Gangneung with a long history and a hearty culture. Kyungpodae, a location near the city, is renowned for its annual “Greet the Sunrise Festival” held every New Year's Day next to Lake Kyungpo.
Kyungpo can be translated as “clear and transparent like a mirror”. Poets claim that four moons rise over Lake Kyungpo: one in the sky, one reflected in the ocean, a third reflected in the lake and a final moon reflected in the glass of the person who enjoys a toast in the moonlit night. Encircling the lakeshore are 12 bowers, or copses of trees, from which panoramic shots of the lake can be taken.
Ojukhon is the historic birth house of Yulgok Yiyi, an archetypal Confucian scholar of the Chosun era. His mother, the artist Shin Saimdang, is considered to be the archetypal virtuous wife and wise mother. The name Ojukhon comes from the unusual black bamboo that grows in the vicinity.
Another attraction is Sonkyojang, a replica upper-class house of the Chosun Dynasty. The luxurious house covers 99 kan, a traditional unit for measuring area, and gives the modern viewer a glimpse of the life of a late Chosun era lord.
In terms of cuisine, Gangneung is famous for a type of specialty tofu, called Chodang. The unique fermenting process and preparation method-it's made using the seawater as brine-contributes to the preservation of its naturally mild flavor. When used in a soup, it is particularly delicious.