Busan, Nampo-dong, Jagalchi Fish Market | 자갈치시장
From PKNU, we took subway to Nampo-dong to visit Jagalchi Fish Market - the largest fish market in Korea located along the Nampo Port (남포항) where 300 kinds of fish and shellfish are traded daily. The name is said to have originated from jagal (means pebbles in Korean) because the market used to be surrounded by pebbles in the past. However the pebbles has removed after modernization took place in Jagalchi Market.
Jagalchi Fish Market has both indoor and outdoor market. The traditional fish market spread along the pier. While this 6-storey modern building situated in the center of Jagalchi Fish Market has seafood market and restaurants indoor. Visitor can pick the preferred fish or seafood at the wet market at ground floor, before head up to the stalls or restaurant for meal.
History of Jagalchi Market building: In 1985, a large fire broke out in the fish market and the building was rebuilt next year - 1986. Twenty years later, in August 2006, the building has reconstructed into modern building where the roof resembles the wings of a seagull.
The indoor market is like an live aquarium. Most of the fishes and sea creature are keeping alive before beheaded or being handle into delicious meal. Most stall owner very friendly and allow us to take picture even we were not buying anything from them.
If you plan to have a meal here, go pick any seasonal fish at the fresh seafood market at 1st floor (or ground floor), then asked to make into Hoe (회) - Korean Sashimi, or chobap (초밥) -sushi rice topped with sashimi; where the leftover part of fish normally will be made into Mae-un-tang (매운탕) - spicy fish stew. If you like crabs or lobster, try both crab meat sashimi and steam crab! Others recommended e.g. San-nakji (산낙지) - raw octopus that cut into small pieces, lightly seasoned with sesame oil and sesame; Jeonbok (전복) - abalone sliced eaten raw or cooked; or Haemul Jonggol (해물전골) - spicy seafood pot with crabs, shrimp, clams, mussels, abalone, squid, octopus and fish! We did not eat anything here since we just had our lunch before arrived
Behind the building (facing south side) is the pier. Seems like it is a popular spot for the local especially senior citizen to hang around and spend their free time, listening to the radio and munch on snack with they bring along, or chit chat with friends.
The pier is overlooking Young-do, where Taejeongdae is located at! Here you can see the new and old bridge that link Youngdo with Jung-gu in mainland. The bridge on the front is Youngdo Daegyo (old bridge), while the bridge shaped like an Arch at the back is Busan Daegyo (new bridge).
The pier has a great view of busy Nampo Port and surrounding hillside.
We further towards west side to the traditional Jagalchi Fish Market set up along the port. Fish and all sorts of sea creature that caught daily are sold fresh to consumers right off the boat at the dock which act like selling floors. This is an wholesale area, fishes were selling in bulks in wholesale price - therefore there are a lots of bargain ongoing here. Persons or workers who unloading the trawls near the dock are mostly men.
While the market adjoined with the dock are retail stalls, operated mostly by elderly women named "Jagalchi Ajumma". The market is an interesting place to visit, so many kinds of fishes, shellfish and sea creatures that I know or do not know it's name is selling here.
We briefly browsing around the main street, if you have time, you can slowly go thru the alleys inside the market! It could spend you one hour at least. Every year around October, The Jagalchi Cultural Tourism Festival will be held here in Jagalchi Fish Market, check out their official website or visitkorea page for the schedule if you plan to visit here in October.
How to get here:
[Subway] Busan Metro Line 1 - Jagalchi Station Exit 10
After exit, walk straight till you see the Jagalchi Market Arch. Turn right and walk for about 100m you will see Jagalchi fish market (building) on your left.
[Subway] Busan Metro Line 1 - Nampo Dong Exit
walk along Jagalchi-ro until you see Jagalchi fish market (building) on your left