Seoul’s newest culture tourism facility, the K-Style Hub, is technology at its finest, offering the very best in information and education on Korea’s traditional culture as well as one-stop shop for hallyu.
The hub, which hosted President Park Geun-hye and hallyu star Song Joong-ki at its opening ceremony last Monday, is one of the city’s most sophisticated and technologically advanced tourism centers.
Located on the second through fifth floors in the former headquarters of the Korea Tourism Organization in central Seoul, the K-Style Hub is designed to serve as Seoul’s key facility for promoting Korean cuisine and tourism, catering to international travelers.
A group of Chinese tourists learn to make bibimbap during a Korean cuisine cooking tutorial class last week at K-Style Hub in central Seoul. (Korea Tourism Organization)
“This is a great opportunity for foreigners to experiences different aspects of Korean culture, especially Korean food, all in one place,” said Jo Deok-hyun, KTO executive director, during a press tour of the K-Style Hub on Monday.
“We offer services in four different languages, including Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese. And for our medical tourism section, we also offer language services in Russian,” he added. “As the number of international travelers and visitors to Korea increases, we are trying to find new and innovative ways for them to experience Korean culture.”
The chic and modern K-Style Hub is home to a plethora of cultural exhibitions and interactive platforms -- 3-D, hologram and virtual reality -- for visitors to learn everything there is to know about the peninsula’s best travel hot spots. While the hub offers services for all-things Korean travel, it especially emphasizes the history and making of Korean food.
The third and fourth floors of the K-style Hub are dedicated entirely to Korean cuisine. The facilities feature a hands-on ingredients showcase, where visitors can touch, taste and smell some of the most commonly used rice, grains and beans in Korean cooking, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, which offers a wide range of cooking classes,
For pop culture lovers, the hub offers a state-of-the-art hologram booth where guests can take virtual photos along with their favorite hallyu stars. And for those who have wondered what is would be like to be a Winter Olympian, the hub even offers visitors a unique virtual reality experience, allowing guests to become virtual Olympic ski jumpers.
A tourist tries out virtual reality ski jumping goggles at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games exhibition last week at K-Style Hub in central Seoul. (Korea Tourism Organization)
“There’s so much that travelers can experience here and we are all about making their visit as comfortable and convenient as possible,” says Jo.
“A number of tourist attractions in Seoul are closed on Mondays so we decided to stay open on Mondays and close on Tuesdays to better accommodate tourists’ itineraries,” he added. “And to accommodate the increasing number of Middle Eastern tourists, we have built a prayer room for those who wish to conduct their religious practices.”
The K-Style Hub is free of charge and open daily except Tuesdays. Registration is required for Korean cooking classes, which cost from 22,000 won ($19.10) to 120,000 won. For more information, visit www.k-cel.kr.
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com