Seoul is enveloped by mountains, consisting of Bugaksan, Namsan, Naksan, and Inwangsan to name a few major peaks surrounding the city. Bugaksan, the mountain located to the north of Seoul, is the highest among these and is a southern offshoot of Bukhansan Mountain. It is also referred to as Baegaksan.
Seoul Fortress Wall runs along the mountain ridge and Changuimun (also called Jahamun), one of the four small gates surrounding the castle town during the Joseon Dynasty, is on the west side of the mountain near Inwangsan Mountain. Running between Changuimun and Arirang Hill in Jeongreung, Bugak Skyway is a scenic road overlooking downtown Seoul; it also passes through a variety of attractions such as Changuimun and Bugak Pavilion. Another attraction is Samcheong Park at the southern foot of Bugaksan Mountain.
Inwangsan Mountain (to the west of Bugaksan) and Naksan (to the east) were considered ideal locations, according to the philosophy of Feng Shui. Known for its rugged granite, Inwangsan Mountain was the site of many tigers attacks during the founding of the Joseon Dynasty. According to legend, the king entreated the mountain deity to send the tigers across the Yalu River. Even though the tigers were banished from Inwangsan, one female tiger bearing babies was allowed to remain on the mountain. The babies, subsequently multiplied and made Inwangsan a feared place, full of tigers.
Inwang Skyway connects the east of Inwangsan to Bugaksan. The eastern side of Inwangsan was turned into a posh residential area while Guksadang (literally “National Shrine”) was moved from Namsan to an area west of the mountain in the 1920s. Even today, shamans perform exorcisms at the shrine, as well as rituals honoring the mountain deities.
Popular nearby, compatible sites for a private tour in Seoul:
Bukchon Hanok Village
Area of Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울 종로구 삼청동 , 청운동, 성북구 성북2동
Mondays (Tuesday, if Monday is a holiday)
* Visitors must leave by 18:00 (March-October), 17:00 (November-February).
(* The hours are subject to change dependingo on the weather conditions.)