While most of us in the UK celebrate the new year indoors with a club, or a house party, many Koreans love to take the celebrations outdoors, and watch the first sunrise of the year with family and friends.

Of course you can see the sunrise anywhere, but the coastal town of Jeongdongjin is a popular location to head for, as it’s a unique place to see the sun rising over the ocean. Jeongdongjin gets its name from the word jeongdong, which means due east in Korean, as it is exactly due east from Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Gate. Its train station is known to be the world’s nearest train station to the ocean.

Getting there is easy by train from Seoul station, but tickets for the sunrise train usually sell out a few months in advance of the big day. Wile you’re there, along with the sunrise there’s some gorgeous natural scenery in Jeongdongjin to enjoy such as pine trees, steep cliffs, and coastal roads. Attending this, or one of Korea’s other sunrise festivals would make a beautiful start to the new year!


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.