BTS filmed their Expensive Class of 2020 speeches and performances on the Nationwide Museum of Korea. Pictures by Nikko Dizon

 

Unable to get a desk at Otsu Seiromushi, Jin’s brother’s Japanese restaurant, the creator’s mother and sister accept an image. (Picture by Nikko Dizon)

ARMY is a trustworthy and dedicated fandom in order that we have a good time Bangtan Sonyeondan even whereas they may very well be  finishing up their enlistment duties in 2023 onwards. It’s additionally our means of letting RM (Kim Namjoon), Jin (Kim Seokjin), Suga (Min Yoongi), j-hope (Jung Hoseok), Jimin (Park Jimin), V (Kim Taehyung), and Jungkook (Jeon Jungkook) know that we’re all the time pondering of them and ARMY can be prepared for them after they regroup in 2025.

My final BTS pilgrimage was in October 2022, in Busan and Seoul, proper after Bangtan’s epic But to Come live performance in Busan.

I made a complete Busan-Seoul itinerary for my sister, mother, and me, however we managed to cowl solely half of it. Lesson discovered: Be life like along with your schedule. There’s a ton of BTS- associated locations to go to, and as Namjoon has proven us, let’s admire and soak within the magnificence that we see wherever we go. Attempt to have some Namjooning time whilst you’re in Korea.

Since my final journeys to Busan and Seoul have been pre-pandemic, I needed to really feel my means once more in these cities, such that we both obtained misplaced or I ended up making fallacious calls that tousled our agenda. However general, I feel we did a fairly good job of constructing probably the most out of our journey, which was the primary time, too, that the three of us traveled collectively, making it additional memorable.

In Busan:

We wished to go to the neighborhoods of Geumjeong and Mandeok, the place Jimin and Jungkook, respectively, grew up. However due to time constraints, we determined to go to Mandeok, Magnate, the café owned by Jimin’s dad, and the Busan Residents Park, which Taehyung visited when BTS had their 5th Muster in June 2019.

I requested the motive force (drivers admire it if you happen to handle them as “kisa-nim”) to drop us off on the Mandeok Duck People Village. I assumed we might have lunch there as a result of blogs described it as a “well-known meals alley”. It turned out, the alley was a winding hill, and given our ages, we couldn’t stroll up with out having to catch our breath and risking a leg cramp. We determined to not discover the village and hailed one other taxi, pushed by a form woman. We wished to go to the Baekyang Elementary Faculty which Jungkook attended. Fortunately, she knew the place it was as a result of her son went there, too!

Baekyang Elementary Faculty which BTS’ golden maknae, Jungkook, attended (Pictures by Nikko Dizon)

Baekyang Elementary Faculty

12 Sangni-ro 18beon-gil Buk-gu Busan, Busan, 46611

It might make you are feeling a bit nostalgic that JK, BTS’ youngest member, spent his early years on this college. The girl informed us that a lot has modified across the neighborhood, however the college’s façade has virtually remained the identical.

Baekyang Center Faculty which Jungkook attended earlier than shifting to Seoul and turning into one of many world’s largest stars. (Picture by Nikko Dizon)

Baekyang Center Faculty

70 Sangni-ro, Mandeok-dong, Buk-gu, Busan

It’s a 30-minute stroll from the elementary college to Baekyang Center Faculty, the place JK studied till he moved to Seoul to be a Massive Hit trainee and enrolled in a faculty in Gangnam.

Whereas we have been taking photographs in entrance of the college, two Japanese girls arrived. “ARMY!” we informed one another, laughing. Might lukso ng dugo.

Proper throughout the college is the little Baekyang park. It’s a pleasant spot to take a seat and perhaps hearken to JK’s Euphoria and My You, his track for ARMY throughout Festa week final June.

The Mandeok Lego village isn’t related to JK in any respect, nevertheless it’s nonetheless good to see these rows of homes with brilliant coloured roofs. The world is only a five-minute stroll from the college. We couldn’t discover our strategy to the advisable elevated spot, the place we might have had a chicken’s eye view of the roofs that kind what looks as if colourful Lego blocks, however we have been in a position to stroll alongside the streets of the quiet neighborhood.

Busan Residents’ Park

103 Simingongwon-ron, Busanjin-gu

Taehyung went to this park when BTS had their 5th Muster in Busan in 2019. He took a photograph alongside a path, which immediately grew to become such a favourite amongst ARMY that the park needed to set up a marker on the spot the place he stood.

It’s fairly a protracted stroll from the subway to the park; you’ll be able to take a taxi to save lots of time. Be sure to ask the motive force to drop you off on the park’s entrance alongside 103 Simingongwon-ron, the place you’ll find an info sales space and the park’s map.

Stroll in the direction of the gazebo on the fitting facet of the park entrance and it’ll lead you precisely to the place Taehyung took his photograph.

The park is gorgeous. It’s good to schedule a visit the place you’ll be able to stroll round leisurely and benefit from the peace and quiet.

On the Magnate cafe, owned by Jimin’s dad, in Busan. First photograph taken at 11am, with a snaking line of ARMY ready to go in. Second photograph taken later that day at 6pm, the road was comparatively shorter however the night time was chilly. (Pictures by Nikko Dizon)

Magnate Café

135 Jinnam-ro, Nam-gu, Busan

Magnate deserves a separate story. Jimin’s dad, a heat and jovial man, is a hands-on proprietor. Mr. Park mans the cashier, takes orders, and even makes the espresso himself. By the point we obtained there, the café had run out of pastries. Good factor, espresso was nonetheless out there and their choice was actually definitely worth the lengthy wait in line.

Haeundae Seashore

Haeundae Seashore is thought to be one in all South Korea’s most well-known seashores. It’s a preferred website for Ok-dramas. For the But to Come live performance, it was one of many two reside play venues and the place Taehyung took a ravishing night time photograph after the present. It’s good to take a stroll by the seashore, with its breathtaking shoreline. There are large sculptures that seem to drift within the water, making the view doubly fascinating.

Drop by the Haeundae strip the place there are a number of rows of eating places and benefit from the music of buskers at night time. Proper by the strip is the Avenue Meals Market the place eating places supply conventional Korean delicacies. ARMY nonetheless marvel what’s tasty in Busan—Jungkook had solely whispered the reply to his Hobi-hyung throughout one fan meet years in the past. For now, I’ll say it’s the savory meals like the splendid yachaejeon (vegetable pancake), bibimbap, fried fish, and hotteok we had for lunch and dinner.

There are eating places in Busan the place BTS had a meal or two, however which we weren’t in a position to go to anymore. They’re the Gopchang Salon, stated to be a favourite of Jungkook and his household, and Dongre Milmyeon the place Joon had a meal after BTS’ 5th Muster fan assembly in 2019. They’re sufficient causes to return to Busan for a BTS pilgrimage.

In Seoul

HYBE Constructing

42 Hangang-daero

Yongsan-gu, Seoul

That is the house that BTS’ success constructed, a 19-story skyscraper in Yeongsan, Seoul. Opened in March 2021, BTS have given us a glimpse of their new workplace by way of their livestreams and dance practices. The place appears each huge but homey, and based mostly on movies we’ve seen, looks as if the meals on the cafeteria can provide Michelin star eating places a run for his or her cash.

I actually want ARMYs are allowed to drop by the café the place we will get some Bang egg tarts, which comes with Jungkook’s now iconic caricature of the BTS founder.

Situated within the constructing is HYBE Perception, the museum that showcases BTS memorabilia from their decade-long journey to turning into one of many world’s largest and most proficient musical acts.

On our journey, HYBE Perception gave strategy to the Proof exhibit (there was additionally one in Busan) which ran till late November final yr.  It was a nostalgic journey down reminiscence lane with principally their assortment of BTS’ photographs (some taken by the boys themselves) and messages written on the partitions that reminded us it wasn’t a straightforward path to success for the septet.

The exhibit was a Chronicle of Proof, written on the wall. It “recollects and reminisces days of outdated, an illustration of how BTS and ARMY overcame the restrictions of the world to forge their very own path.” One other message pointedly stated that BTS “stood as much as prejudice and oppression… by way of their music.”

It was impactful to learn these frank and sincere messages. I hope ARMY who noticed these take them to coronary heart.

On show, too, have been the garments BTS wore in a few of their movies and concert events—which gave ARMY an thought of how tall and match the boys are.

In these photographs it was touching to see how they’ve grown—lots of the photographs have been taken by the boys themselves. I discovered from different ARMY that many cried whereas on the Proof exhibit in HYBE the day after it was introduced that BTS have been enlisting within the navy.

Former Massive Hit Leisure workplace

208-14 Nonhyeon 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu

Subway: Hakdong Station, Exit 7

Massive Hit Leisure’s former workplace constructing is one other common pilgrimage website for ARMY. Don’t confuse it with BTS’ outdated dorm, which was featured (the façade not less than) in one in all their newest Run BTS episodes. We obtained to the outdated workplace constructing at round 8 p.m., after having dinner at Yoojung Sikdang, a favourite restaurant of the boys. I seen that a lot of ARMY’s messages that stuffed the partitions and stairs, and which I noticed in 2019, had already been scrubbed off. However new ones have been being made. We noticed a handful of ARMY writing messages for the boys.

We didn’t get to go to BTS’ outdated dorm anymore, which has been transformed right into a café as a result of—we forgot about it! I blame it on the decision to have bingsu on the close by Garosu-gil. This dorm was very particular and vital to the boys in order that it’s even talked about of their track, Run BTS. It was additionally the place they stated they’d some ghostly encounters. The handle is 16 Nonhyeon-ro 119-gil Gangnam-gu.

Yoojung Sikdang

14 Dosan-daero 28-gil, Gangnam-gu

Subway: Hakdong Station, Exit 7

Yoojung Sikdang is BTS’ favourite restaurant after they have been Massive Hit trainees and even after they’d debuted. After we went there days after the Busan live performance, the restaurant was nonetheless stuffed with ARMY. It’s a brief stroll from the outdated Massive Hit workplace constructing.

There was a brief queue within the restaurant and my mother, Ate Michelle, our good friend, Kaethy, who has made Seoul her dwelling for the previous 5 years, and I waited just for a couple of minutes earlier than we obtained in. Kaethy and I had been there, nevertheless it was the primary time for my mother and sister—and so they have been fortunate that we obtained to take a seat on the boys’ favourite desk! The homeowners had positioned stickers on the desk which indicated the place every member sat.

Yoojung Sikdang is roofed with BTS’ posters and different memorabilia from flooring to ceiling. The boys had stated they cherished the restaurant as a result of it served meals that reminded them of dwelling. At Yoojung Sikdang, you’ll be able to take pleasure in Korea’s greatest dishes and they’re scrumptious. We had grilled black pork stomach and the black pork stone bibimbap, recognized to be Bangtan’s favorites within the restaurant.


The Gyeongbokgyung Palace and the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion (proper) the place BTS filmed ‘Idol’ and ‘Mikrokosmos’, respectively, for his or her performances for The Tonight Present starring Jimmy Fallon in 2020. (Pictures by Nikko Dizon)

Gyeongbokgyung Palace

61 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

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This gorgeous major royal palace of the Joseon dynasty is a jewel in the course of town. It’s a must-see for anybody visiting Seoul. For ARMY, the added spotlight is that this was the place BTS filmed their Idol and Mikrokosmos performances for The Tonight Present starring Jimmy Fallon in 2020. It was a ravishing showcase of conventional Korean tradition blended with modern music.

BTS filmed Idol proper on the façade of the principle palace. Behind it’s the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion the place the boys carried out Mikrokosmos and famously cheered with a crying Bang Si-hyuk on the telephone after they acquired the information that their track Dynamite debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Sizzling 100, making them the primary Korean act to win that distinction within the common US chart.

Nationwide Museum of Up to date Historical past

198 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul

The time capsule that BTS introduced to then-South Korean president Moon Jae-in in September 2021 marking the nation’s Youth Day is on show on the everlasting exhibition corridor of the Nationwide Museum of Up to date Historical past. The purple field, positioned in a glass case, is on the 5th flooring of the museum, which is a five-minute stroll from Gyeongbokgyung Palace and the US Embassy.

Within the purple field are messages from the BTS members and objects that characterize their musical journey and achievements, in addition to these which they consider characterize the youth. The field can be opened in 2039, the 20th yr of Youth Day.

What took my breath away was seeing BTS’ personal wax seal on the field. It was the image that binds these seven younger males with the tens of millions of followers who’re touched by their music, their artistry, and their merely being good people.

Nationwide Museum of Korea

137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu

Take Line 4 or the Jungang Line (Munsan-Yongmun) to Ichon Station. Take the exit that connects to the museum.

The Nationwide Museum of Korea is sort of close to the HYBE constructing. It was right here the place the septet filmed their half for the Expensive Class of 2020, a web-based graduation train for graduates who didn’t get to have their ceremonies due to the pandemic.

BTS have been invited by the Obama Basis to affix former President Barack Obama, former First Woman Michelle Obama, and different A-listers to participate on this landmark initiative.

They carried out Boy with Luv, Spring Day, and Mikrokosmos, filmed within the museum’s lovely lobby. Their graduation speeches have been shot in the principle hallway. There are markers on the ground, you gained’t miss the precise spot the place BTS stood.

We are going to all the time bear in mind these speeches, every very private and provoking, a mild and heat rally to the younger individuals who felt dejected within the pandemic. Yoongi gave this recommendation: “Take your fingers off what you’ll be able to’t management, and get your fingers on what you’ll be able to change. As you and I proceed on in life, we’ll discover ourselves in so many conditions out of our grasp. The one factor we will management is ourselves. Get your fingers on the modifications you can also make as a result of your potentialities are limitless. In spite of everything, I additionally had no thought I might change into BTS both.”

Like Namjoon, spend time going across the museum, which homes an unlimited assortment of historic artifacts from completely different intervals and ages.

Jamsil Olympic Stadium

25 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 2(i)-dong, Songpa-gu

Subway: Sports activities Advanced Station

On their Run BTS! 2022 particular episode Telepathy, the boys got key phrases by the workers that symbolized particular locations of their band’s historical past. For the ultimate spherical, the key phrase was “ARMY”, and 6 of the seven instantly considered the Olympic Stadium. “That’s the one place,” Suga stated. (V, nonetheless, went to the place they’d their first showcase, which was comprehensible due to how vital it was to them.)

It was on the Olympic Stadium the place BTS and ARMY communed to have a magical music expertise. It was the place I watched my first BTS live performance in 2019 and noticed for myself how breathtaking a BTS live performance may very well be. Beside the stadium is the Music Star Zone, which options the handprints of artists who’ve carried out there, together with, after all, BTS.

Otsu Seiromushi

30 Baekjegobun-ro 45-gil

Songpa 1 (il)-dong, Songpa-gu

+82 2-419-2222

To not be missed, this Japanese restaurant is owned by Jin and his older brother. However on this journey, we missed it, not as soon as however twice due to fallacious choices I made. We  weren’t in a position to eat there first due to a confusion in regards to the opening hours. After we went again the following day, there was already a protracted line of ARMY. We didn’t make it to the cut-off.  I used to be disenchanted in myself as a BTS pilgrimage information for my mom and eonnie, Michelle.

Whereas Otsu Seiromushi is common amongst ARMY due to Jin, this restaurant really serves luxurious meals. Seiromushi is a Japanese technique of steam cooking utilizing bamboo containers in your desk. I had dinner at Otsu Seoromushi in October 2019, the week after I watched the Love Your self, Communicate Your self: The Finale live performance. I can nonetheless bear in mind the tender strips of beef and pork and the candy greens. The restaurant’s minimalist design, with low lighting, means that you can take pleasure in your heat meals over a pleasant dialog. If you wish to drop by Otsu Seiromushi, greatest to name first and inquire in regards to the hours. They’re closed on Wednesdays.

Jin’s brother and sister-in-law had introduced on their Instagram that they’d not too long ago opened a second department of Otsu Seiromushi on the Worldwide Finance Middle in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul.

Mokran

21 Yeonhui-ro 15-gil

Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

+82 8-732-0054

Mokran is the Korean-Chinese language restaurant owned by BTS’ good friend, the well-known chef Lee Yeon Bok. Via the years, Jin has change into near Chef Lee. In his BTS Vlog just a few months in the past, the 2 made menbosha, a deep fried shrimp toast. Jin extremely recommends it. On our strategy to the restaurant, Kaethy came upon that it’s important to reserve for the menbosha three days earlier than your go to. After we obtained there, nonetheless, the wait workers requested Kaethy if we wished to order menbosha (maybe somebody cancelled their order?). In fact, we do!

Together with menbosha, we had jajjangmyeon, tangsuyuk, and fried rice—all scrumptious! Do go to Mokran for a beautiful meal.

Sejong Village Meals Avenue that RM and Jin endorsed as Seoul ambassadors. Picture by Nikko Dizon

Sejong Village Meals Avenue

Subway: Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3, exit 2, 15 minutes from Myeongdong)

We arrived in Seoul from Busan late Tuesday afternoon. After checking in in our resort, we took the cab to the Sejong Village Meals Avenue, endorsed by Jin and Namjoon as Seoul Metropolis ambassadors. We tried to search for a restaurant that resembled the inside of the place they filmed the advert, solely to seek out out every week later from Seoul Metropolis’s official behind-the-scenes video that NamJin filmed it in a studio.

Nonetheless, we discovered a pleasant restaurant the place we had a scrumptious samgyeopsal dinner. The “imo” (aunt) within the restaurant was form sufficient to prepare dinner the meat for us. The road is an enthralling quick strip of eating places.

Faire by Mujin

18 Dosan-daero, Gangnam-du

My sister hadn’t been to a salon for the reason that pandemic started two years in the past. My brother-in-law has been reducing her hair. As Choi Mujin, one in all BTS’ stylists, gave her a makeover, I informed him: “She got here right here to Korea for Bangtan Sonyeondan and also you.” He gave a shy snicker and stated “Thanks.” His voice is deep, a bit like Yoongi’s.

Mujin caught ARMYs’ eye due to his attractiveness, however past that, he’s actually a gifted stylist. My hair was means past my shoulders and he recommended reducing it quick. I informed him my fear with quick hair is it would emphasize my chubby cheeks. He assured me it wouldn’t, and it didn’t. I actually love my wash-and-wear haircut. Mujin additionally picked a pleasant deep brown to cowl my sister’s grey hair and gave her a very nice reduce, too. We each seen how gentle his fingers felt as he labored on our hair.

Go to his Instagram account, hairbymujin, and also you’ll see a list of gorgeous cuts and colours—and photographs of BTS.

It’s straightforward to e book an appointment with Mujin. His salon is conscious of inquiries on Kakao Speak. The costs aren’t unhealthy both, contemplating that he’s recognized to be a celeb stylist. The subsequent journey I make to Korea would more than likely embrace one other appointment with Mujin.

ARMY won’t ever run out of locations to take a look at in South Korea for a BTS pilgrimage.

Right here’s an inventory of what you need to embrace in your itinerary:

  • BTS bear alongside the Ok-Star Street in Gangnam

  • Sungnye Gate, considered South Korea’s No. 1 nationwide treasure. This was the place BTS filmed their Permission to Dance and Butter performances for the International Citizen Stay in 2021 that featured artists from all over the world.

  • Daeo Bookstore, the oldest bookstore in Seoul, which Namjoon visited twice.

  • Geumdwaeji (or Golden Pig) Sikdang, a Michelin-rated restaurant the place JK and Jimin had a meal.

  • Geujib, the restaurant the place the boys filmed their fifth Festa.

  • The Min’s, a café owned by 2PM’s Lee Chang Min, this can be a favourite hangout place of the Tannies.  The handle is 330 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

  • I Seoul U in Ttseuksom Hangang Park, the place BTS filmed I Seoul U advert

  • Bangtan bus cease at Hyangho Seashore. That is in Gangeing, Gangwon, about the place they shot the album cowl for You’ll By no means Stroll Alone

  • Deserted Iryeong prepare station. That is in Yangju Metropolis, Gyeonggi Province, the place Taehyung shot the opening scene for Spring Day music video

  • Shinchon iZone Pop, S&G Tower in Seodaemun-gun. The arcade was a BTS capturing location.

An vital notice: Earlier than happening a BTS pilgrimage, it’s vital to test not simply on-line, but in addition along with your fellow ARMY, if some locations are nonetheless open, or if there have been modifications within the websites through the pandemic.

I introduced my mother and sister to the I’m Nice/Kore, a Jin-focused café (as my mother is Jin-biased), solely to seek out out that it had already closed. Earlier than leaving for Korea, I checked on-line and the web page stated it was nonetheless open.

Different BTS-related locations that had closed within the pandemic have been the &Collect café, the place the boys tried their fingers at being baristas for a day for a Run BTS episode; Laundry Pizza, the capturing location for Love Your self: Her; and the Myeongdong department of Line Associates, that had BT21 merchandise (I’m hoping it has reopened!)

I need to do one other BTS pilgrimage with my mother and sister this yr. And when planning our itinerary, I’ll make sure to test ARMY’s newest pilgrimage posts on Twitter, which stays for me, probably the most dependable place of on-line convergence for ARMY.

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