How to get to SM Town Artium/Where is the SM Town Artium

 

The SMTown Artium (I think it’s still pronounced ‘atrium’ but they were being clever) is a store created especially for SM Town artists, featuring many of their signature styles as well as souvenirs for you to buy. It also has a pop-up cafe, a studio for make up and photos, and a hologram theatre and event hall (some of these will not be open until mid-January)

ADDRESS:
METRO STOP: Samseong Station (삼성역) Exit 6 – COEX Mall (direct passageway)
DIRECTIONS: Just continue on straight out Exit 6 (there will be stairs and then a passageway of pillars) and it will open up to roofless open space with a bit of a pathway to the side for visitors of the mall. If you continue to go straight, there will be a sign telling you where the artium is and some escalators going up. Take those escalators and then turn right at the top and the glass doors should be right there (there should be lots of pillars with SM Artist names on them)

PHOTO DIRECTIONS TO COME
(I forgot to take them when going the first time I was too excited)

RECOMMENDATIONS: The pop-up cafe has a lot of different signatures of your favourite artists. When I went, I sat at Tao’s table. I really liked the Super Junior ice cream. I have yet to try their cakes or cupcakes, but don’t get the chocolate éclair. That didn’t taste very good at all.

WHAT (NOT) TO DO THERE: Try to listen to staff, especially if there are lines. Don’t cut as it’s unfair for those who stood behind you. Also it’s just rude. Don’t cut any line. Ever.

How to get to Grill5 Taco/Where is Grill5 Taco? (Super Junior Donghae’s Restaurant)

Grill5 Taco is a restaurant owned by Super Junior member Lee Donghae.

ADDRESS: 15 Seolleung-ro 152-gil (88-10 Cheongdam-dong) Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea ‎


METRO STOP: Apgujeong Rodeo Station (압구정로데오역) Exit 5
DIRECTIONS:

1Go out of exit 5 and head straight until you come to a Burger King

2

At the Burger King turn Left

3

Grill5 is located right after the Butterfingers Pancake restaurant.

4

RECOMMENDATIONS: I recommend the Seoul Fries which is big enough for two people. They tend to load their burritos and tacos with onions so it might be better ask for less of them if you wish. The nachos are free, but you must order the sauce for them separately. The menu is in English so you should have no problem ordering. The staff is very used to international staff so don’t hesitate to ask for help if there’s something you don’t understand.

WHAT (NOT) TO DO THERE: The boys come over to eat a lot, so please don’t disturb them when they do, despite it being a tempting thing to do.

How to get to/Where is Mouse Rabbit (Mobit)? Super Junior Yehsung’s cafe.

 

Mouse Rabbit cafe is owned by Super Junior member Yehsung’s family. It is a beautiful little two story cafe that is very homely and welcoming for visitors.

ADDRESS: 5-14 Hwayang-dong (10 Neungdong-ro 11-gil)Gwangjin-gu, SeoulSouth Korea
METRO STOP: Konkuk University Station (건대입구역) Exit 2
DIRECTIONS:

Mobit is a five minute walk from the station.

IMG_3629IMG_3632You’ll want to go out exit 2.

IMG_3638After you’ve ventured down the stairs, you’ll want to turn left. There is a angel-in-us cafe there on the corner so you’ll know you’re going the right way.

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Go straight from there and keep on walking until you reach The Girl shop and a Samsung Mobile shop. This may change to different stores and I’ll try to keep you updated as they change.
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Here you’ll want to go down the alley between the shops to reach Mouse Rabbit Cafe.IMG_3650

 

RECOMMENDATIONS: I, myself, like their frappes. The chocolate mint is to die for on a hot day. Mobit also offers an arrangement of merchandise you can buy from them that changes with the seasons. Very cute stuff to take home as souvenirs.

WHAT (NOT) TO DO THERE: Do not, and I repeat, DO. NOT. take pictures behind the counter at Mobit. Yesung goes there a lot since he started his military service but you MUST NOT take his pictures right now!!! Please try not to disturb staff or ask for pictures with Yehsung’s family as this is a work place and isn’t an event you can attend.

How to get to 돈까스타/Where is 돈까스타? (Infinite Hoya’s Restaurant)

 

 

Outside Question: How big of an Infinite fan are you? Even if your answer is “I don’t actually know who that is?” you should still check out this restaurant. It’s called “tonkastar (돈까스타)” and is owned by Infinite member Hoya.

ADDRESS: 153-22 Bupyeong 5(o)-dong (5 Sijang-ro 12beon-gil)
METRO STOP: Bupyeong Station (부평역) Line 1/Exit 20b
DIRECTIONS: The Bupyeong underground shopping center can be a real maze, but I’ll try to make it as easy to find your way as possible.

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So once you get to the station, you’ll want to head toward exit 7 (but not actually go out exit seven) it’s just so you can find your way to this fountain here outside of the turnstiles (because even in the station, you can get lost).

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Next you’ll want to locate the manoffin and take that long corridor right next to it.

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Pretty much go straight down this, don’t turn anywhere! It’s called the “Orange Road” so just in case you get lost in a shop or something, you’ll remember which road you’re on. The signs on the ground really help.

You’ll hit a four-way at one point and you’ll still want to head straight, though your “Orange Road” will turn into a “Green Road” and there will be a sign overhead that looks like this:

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Congratulations! You’ve found exit 20!!! Well not really. As you can see, you need to go where the arrow points toward 구 . 진선미. You’re also on the blue road now, so your floor sign should look like this:

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So if you’ve been keeping up you should arrive at a fork, where one side leads up to exit 21, and the other to exit 20. Of course you want to go up exit 20!

There should be a sort of split of the stairs, take the left stairs (the narrower ones).

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This is your destination street! Just go straight and take the first right and you’ve finally found the restaurant!

Menu

MENU:
등심 돈까스 – (deungshim donkkas) The usual tonkatsu.
고구마 치즈 돈까스 – (goguma cheese donkkas) Sweet potato cheese tonkatsu.
치즈 돈까스 – (cheese donkkas) Cheese tonkatsu.
돈까스타 (퓨젼 다이어트 돈까스) – (donkkasuta) The ‘specialty’ of this restaurant. I think I remember this being that instead of rice, you get a salad. Supposed to be a “diet” sort of dish but there isn’t much of a difference between the regular tonkatsu and this except for the salad.
추가메뉴 왕만두 (3개) – (wangmandu) A side menu dish of 3 large mandu.
1인1식 기본주문 입니다 – 1 dish, 1 person. Meaning that each dish is made to serve one person.

Door

SPECIAL MENU (hung on the door so I am unsure if this is a regular thing or a seasonal thing):
사누끼 우동 – (sanukki udong) Sanuki Udon
우동, 왕만두 새트 – (udong, wangmandu set) A set that includes the Udon and Mandu.

Drinks are self-served and is included with your dish. Remember that you must purchase a dish (not the side menu of mandu) in order to get a drink. Also for those of you wondering what sort of meat is used for the tonkatsu, it is pork (as usual for this dish). Udon is made with dashi (fish stock).

RECOMMENDATION: I had the regular tonkatsu, which tasted much like any other tonkatsu that I’ve had in Korea. I shared a plate of the mandu with my friends and that was pretty good. I think I want to try the udon next time.

Sign

WHAT YOU CAN DO: The place is a absolute SHRINE to the man who is Hoya. The walls are lined from ceiling to floor with his face.

The most interesting part of the cafe would definitely be the signboard where you can leave little notes to Hoya. They have post-its provided for you to use on the counter and a pen just in case you don’t have one.

It doesn’t seem like there are any restrictions for cameras that I could see, but please keep in mind that this is a business and not an amusement park. Take heed of your surroundings and also listen to the staff if they ask you to do something.

How to get to Kona Beans/Where is Kona Beans?

The entrance to Kona Beans

Kona Beans is a cafe in Apgujeong run by the mothers of Cho Kyuhyun, Lee Sungmin, and Park Jungsu. It’s a really cozy place where fans and non-fans can have a cup of coffee and just hang out. I, myself, go there many times just to find a quiet place to study away from my home. The mothers are extremely nice and cater to the fans like they would their own children. So you can see it’s a really great place to come to when you’re feeling homesick and just need the right touch of a mother’s love!


ADDRESS: 13 Apgujeong-ro 42-gil (640-9 Sinsa-dong) Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
METRO STOP: Apgujeong Station (명동역) Line 3/Exit 2
DIRECTIONS:

You must come out of the exit then TURN AROUND and go the other way. Do not cross any street here.

Turning around from the exit, you will head this way, following the sidewalk as it veers left.

You follow that street left and keep on going straight. Here’s some pictures of the street going straight.

It will be quite a while until you’re there. One of the biggest signs you know you’re going the right way is when you hit the Hyundai Oilbank gas station.

Hyundai Oilbank gas station.

If you keep on going, you’ll finally hit a Blacksmith restaurant, which is a nice pizza chain store that is promoted by JYJ’s Yoochun. At this street, you want to turn right.

The street you’ll be turning on to.

Once you turn left, you will see an angel-in-us on your right and the store just after it is Kona Beans. You’ve arrived!

RECOMMENDATIONS: I, myself, adore their Strawberry smoothies. I almost ALWAYS have them. Their Kona fruit (passion orange) smoothie is just as good if they end up sold out of the strawberry ones (which is possible if you go right after me). Unfortunately I’m allergic to coffee bean so I can’t help you with any coffee selections. I don’t know why, but according to coffee experts (and the fact that I’m from Hawaii and have the obligation to promote my own “country”) Kona coffee is supposed to be one of the best.

WHAT (NOT) TO DO THERE: The inside of the place is nicely decorated to be somewhat Hawaii-esqe but fails somewhat as it’s littered with pictures from the boys (it’s really hard to be genuinely Hawaiian. Take it from a Hawaiian XD). The mothers are gracious and almost always happy to help with any questions you have. But remember that this is a working environment and if they are busy behind the counter or in the back by the bathroom doing paper work, please don’t disturb them! They will take pictures with you and will take gifts if you have them. But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure your gifts are limited to letters or small trinkets. I know a lot of us want to give the boys things, but again, it’s a working environment. They aren’t your personal post women. Don’t load them with your gifts and expect them to be delivered. Of course, if you have gifts for the mothers themselves, please feel free to load them with love! They are so caring and grateful for everything ^^

How to get into SBS Inkigayo/Where is SBS Inkigayo


SBS Inkigayo is the most competitive of the four music shows. It is located in Gayang, which is quite easy to get to, but the studio isn’t incredibly big. There’s a small section of standing and then a theater of about 400 people that may fit if they ignore fire safety (which they ALWAYS do). As at all music shows, it’s best if you arrive early (first train early) if you want to get in for your group.


SBS INKIGAYO ADDRESS: 서울시 강서구 등촌동 58-1 SBS등촌동공개홀
WHEN: Every Sunday
METRO STOP: Gayang Station (가양역) Line 9. Exit 10
DIRECTIONS: It’s pretty simple to find this one. Go out of Exit 10 and turn left. Go until you see girls crowded around outside a partially glass complex.

WHAT YOU NEED: First and foremost, you will need the most recent CD of the idol you are hoping to go and watch. Some fandoms will require other things, such as online purchase receipts or ringtones. You will have to go to the group’s daumcafe or website for the specifics, but the basic is a CD.

WHAT YOU DO FIRST: FIND YOUR FANDOM. It’s pretty easy. Take out your CD and start asking around. Shy? Read the signs or look for people that have the same CD as you do. The signs are usually taped to the ground right below the steps leading up to the building. At Inkigayo, it’s actually much easier to find your group as people will be milling around with their CDs out and signs.

WHAT YOU DO NEXT: Once you have your name on the list they will then tell you a time to be back by. And then you wait. When the staff arrives they will check that you have all the items you need and then put a number on your wrist. You will line up and get into the studio according to that number.

THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU WAIT: There isn’t much to do around there, but there is a cafeteria on the bottom floor of the homeplus across the street. There is also a PC bang (internet cafe) a little ways away. Just look for the sign saying ‘PC방’ and some ominous stairs going down into a deep underground little cave. There’s also a nice karaoke place down there. Other than that, there are a few cafes that will have many people, but good for loitering in if you’re lucky to find a seat.

DOS AND DO NOTS:
+ Whatever you do, DO NOT JUMP LINES. It is extremely rude to the fanclub you were/are in. As Westerners, we understand that one can like more than one group at a time. For Koreans, however, it’s all about loyalty to that one particular band. And even then, it’s not about that. I know we all want to see our favorite bands perform, but out of common courtesy, please refrain from doing so. It gives FOREIGNERS a bad name and it makes the staff even less inclined to assist or even try to let foreigners do things at shows. Also, most groups have check in times that collide so it’s best for you to just choose one group and stick with them for the ENTIRE DAY. Just don’t be a dick okay?

+ You may or may not be in live recordings for other artists. Most of them are people that you may not be familiar with or dislike. Despite this, please try to cheer for everyone you see.

+ The production companies no long allow overnight queues so try to come at first light instead (around 5AM).

+DO NOT TAKE PICTURES. I mean it. If you take pictures, you’re going to get your ENTIRE FANDOM kicked out of the studio for that day and probably for a few OTHER performances as well! If you want your idol to have their fans in the recording to support them, DO NOT TAKE PICTURES.

GROUP SPECIFICS: (updated 2013.07.09)
SUPER JUNIOR/DBSK/SHINEE/2PM/BIGBANG/B2ST/ETC – If you don’t have an official fancard (which anyone reading this will definitely not have) then you bring your CD  and a printout of their digital release (you can use Facebook Soribada if you cannot use any of the other music sites) and you ARRIVE AT FIRST LIGHT. Especially for special events. They are also now asking for an official fanlight from an event. If you do not have these things, the lower your tier will be. Be sure to check their website for more information.

EXO – The fanclub card is easy enough to get, but they also have an app that will show your card that you can show the people in line and you HAVE to bring their CD and a printout of their digital release (you can use Facebook Soribada if you cannot use any of the other music sites) along with an official fanlight and a few other things. Be sure to check the exo website for more information

U-KISS – Current CD + Online Cafe registration (found under 현장참여신청) If you DO NOT register on the fancafe you will be put at the back of the line regardless if you have the fanclub card.

Where is MBC Music Core/How to enter MBC Music Core


MBC Music Core is now located in the same place as M!Countdown, just across the street. The Ilsan venue was much bigger so getting into the live show is a bit challenging now, though you should still try if you really want to see it. At all music shows, it’s best if you arrive early (first train early) if you want to get in for your group.

MBC MUSIC CORE ADDRESS: (TO BE UPDATED…when I have the time…)
WHEN: Every Saturday but keep a look out on their schedule because they will sometimes change locations.
METRO STOP: Digital Media City Station (디지탈미디아시티역) Line 6/Airport Railroad. Exit 9
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out of Exit 9 and just walk for about three-four blocks until you see a building that looks like it’s made of squares. That’s the MBC building. The entrance is on the opposite side of the street you’re on (so go around the building to the courtyard)

WHAT YOU NEED: First and foremost, you will need the most recent CD of the idol you are hoping to go and watch. Some fandoms will require other things, such as online purchase receipts or ringtones. Some have you check in on their daum cafe. See ‘Group Specifics’ below for further details or check the comments.

WHAT YOU DO FIRST: FIND YOUR FANDOM. It’s pretty easy. Take out your CD and start asking around. Shy? Read the signs or look for people that have the same CD as you do. The MBC staff themselves will put out signs with the name of the groups performing in the courtyard. On rainy days or days when it is too cold/hot to function they will put the signs inside and you will line up in there. See ‘Group Specifics’ below for further details or check the comments.

WHAT YOU DO NEXT: Once you have your name on the list they will then tell you a time to be back by. And then you wait. When the staff arrives they will check that you have all the items you need and then put a number on your wrist. You will line up and get into the studio according to that number.

THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU WAIT: There’s some nice places to eat and hang around just down the road. Ilsan is known for their flowers so take the time to go explore the park across the street or down a block. There’s excellent shopping and food all around.

DOS AND DO NOTS:
+ Whatever you do, DO NOT JUMP LINES. It is extremely rude to the fanclub you were/are in. As Westerners, we understand that one can like more than one group at a time. For Koreans, however, it’s all about loyalty to that one particular band. And even then, it’s not about that. I know we all want to see our favorite bands perform, but out of common courtesy, please refrain from doing so. It gives FOREIGNERS a bad name and it makes the staff even less inclined to assist or even try to let foreigners do things at shows. Also, most groups have check in times that collide so it’s best for you to just choose one group and stick with them for the ENTIRE DAY. Don’t be a dick, okay?

+ You may or may not be in live recordings for other artists. Most of them are people that you may not be familiar with or dislike. Despite this, please try to cheer for everyone you see.

+ The production companies no long allow overnight queues so try to come at first light instead (around 5AM).

+DO NOT TAKE PICTURES. I mean it. If you take pictures, you’re going to get your ENTIRE FANDOM kicked out of the studio for that day and probably for a few OTHER performances as well! If you want your idol to have their fans in the recording to support them, DO NOT TAKE PICTURES.

GROUP SPECIFICS: (updated 2013.07.09)
SUPER JUNIOR/DBSK/SHINEE/2PM/BIGBANG/B2ST/ETC – If you don’t have an official fancard (which anyone reading this will definitely not have) then you bring your CD  and a printout of their digital release (you can use Facebook Soribada if you cannot use any of the other music sites) and you ARRIVE AT FIRST LIGHT. Especially for special events.

EXO – The fanclub card is easy enough to get, but they also have an app that will show your card that you can show the people in line and you HAVE to bring their CD and a printout of their digital release (you can use Facebook Soribada if you cannot use any of the other music sites)

FTISLAND – Carded membership for FTIsland is open all the time. So if you’re in Korea, just go get one. Once you get one, you will need to buy the single online (they will require you to print this confirmation out) as well as the CD and a pentastick (the FTIsland support flag which will be sold there for 4,000won). If you don’t want to get a carded membership, then just bring the latest CD and a pentastick (or just buy it there :D)

TEEN TOP – Angels probably have official fancards now and they are HUGE FANDOMS so you will probably have to arrive EARLY in order to get a good place in line. Bring your CD and check on their site for further information.

U-KISS – Current CD + Online Cafe registration (found under 현장참여신청) If you DO NOT register on the fancafe you will be put at the back of the line regardless if you have the fanclub card.