Have you ever heard of the small city called Jecheon? Jecheon is a city in North Chungcheong Province, South Korea. It is well-known as a ‘healing city’ because of its breathtaking mountains and lake environments. Also, it is famous for its wide variety of traditional medicine and herbal products and therapies, attracting people all over Korea to visit this city. Uirimji Reservoir, one of the most popular attractions in Jecheon, is the best water irrigation facilities in Korea along with Byeokgolje in Gimje and Susanje in Milyang.
It is selected as one of the 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Korea (2021-2022) by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organizaiton.
First, take a KTX ride to Jecheon Station. From the station, hop on a bus (31, 35, 523, 531 or 541) and get down at Uirimji stop.
A Brief History
Uirimji, originally called Yimji, is a reservoir that was created during the Three Kingdoms Era. Due to its long history, it is one of the most famous reservoirs in Chungcheong-do and was designated Monument No. 11 of Chungcheongbuk-do. It supplies agricultural water to farmlands and is a valuable historical site for studying farming methods. Furthermore, it is 8m deep with 1.8km circumference. Along the bank, there is a forest, which consists of pine and willow trees.
Uirimji Reservoir at a Glance
As soon as you get off from the bus, you will be greeted by this sparkling clear lake surrounded by exquisitely wonderful nature. It was in teardrop-silver in color and it was shaped like a perfectly flat disc of metal. No sound rang out from the shimmering emptiness of space around it. Monastery quiet, it was lined with pine trees and the whiff of mint wafted up to us. Look at the magnificent reflection of the lake!
You could rent a boat with paddles or duck boat here. It is only available during summer.
As you walk around the lake, you will see a traditional Korean-styled bridge like this too.
I was really lucky to be able to catch the sunset at Uirimji!
The popular South Korean reality-variety TV show, 2 Days 1 Night, was also filmed here. They visited to Uirimji, Bakdaljae and Cheongpung Cultural Properties Complex when they came to Jecheon.
Attractions and Photo Zones
There are many attractions and Instagrammable photo zones in Uirimji Reservoir. Yeonghojeong Pavilion is located on the southern bank of the the lake. It was built by Yi Jip-gyeong in 1807 in the seventh year of King Sunjo but was destroyed during the Korean War. It was then rebuilt by his descendant Yi Beom-u in 1954. The one-storey wooden pavilion, built on a granite foundation stone is 13m wide. It has two kans in front and on each side with a hip-and-gable roof. This kind of roof is the most beautiful general roof styles in Korea with a pitched root in all directions and a gable on both sides of the roof.
Gyeonghoru Pavilion is located west of Uirimji Reservoir. It was built after a proposal by Jecheon Governor, Kim Deuk-ryeon and Superintendent Kim Gyeong-sul in 1948. With an I-ikgong (a kind of bracket) and hip-and-gable roof, the pavilion was finished in Dancheong (a traditional decorative coloring for buildings in Korea). The pavilion is one of the representative tourist attractions for relaxing, along with the Uirimji Reservoir and Yeonghojeong Pavilion.
If you walk to the left of Gyeonghoru Pavilion, you will see the Yongchu Falls observatory deck.
Yongchu Falls is the most popular attraction zone in Uirimji Reservoir. It is a natural 30-meter-high waterfall. I was lost for words when I saw this jaw-dropping view.
Frankly speaking, I did not really expect much from the lake, but it turns out to be one of the best nature spots in Korea that I have been to! I was totally amazed by the traditional beauty of the pavilions accented by the neighboring ancient pine and willow trees. If you have the chance to visit Jecheon, it is a must to include Uirimji Reservoir in your travel itinerary.