Korean transcription(s)
 • Hangul
 • Hanja
 • Revised RomanizationGimcheon-si
 • McCune-ReischauerKimch'ŏn-si
Location in South Korea
Country South Korea
Administrative divisions1 eup, 14 myeon, 7 dong
 • Total1,009.5 km2 (389.8 sq mi)
 • Total150,000
 • Density150/km2 (400/sq mi)
 • Dialect

Gimcheon (Korean김천; Hanja金泉市; Korean pronunciation: [kim.tɕʰʌn], trans., 'gold spring city') is a city in North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. It is situated on the major land transportation routes between Seoul and Busan, namely the Gyeongbu Expressway and Gyeongbu Line railway.

In ancient times, Gimcheon was famous for its three mountains (Geumo, Daedeok, Hwangak) and two rivers (Gamcheon, Jikjicheon). During the Chosun Dynasty, Gimcheon had one of the five largest markets in the region. The town has also served as the gateway and traffic hub of the Yeongnam region and is particularly proud of its patriots, history and conservative lifestyle.

The slogan of Gimcheon city is 'Central Gimcheon', a recognition of the fact that it is situated almost at the center of South Korea.



Culture and sightseeing

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Gimcheon's claim to fame is Jikjisa Temple (직지사), located at the foot of Mt. Hwangaksan. The temple was constructed in 418 (the 2nd year of King Nulji's reign, Silla Dynasty). Jikjisa is an important head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. This temple is in perfect harmony with the nearby valley and pine forest. The foliage in fall is particularly breathtaking. It features Birojeon Hall (also known as ‘Cheonbuljeon Hall’), in which approximately 1,000 Buddha statues are enshrined, along with a thousand year old arrowroot. Iljumun Gate, Daeungjeon Hall (one of the most famous architectural structures of the Joseon Dynasty) and a 1.63m-tall Seated Stone Buddhist Statue (Treasures No. 319) from the Unified Silla Period, can also be found on the temple grounds.

Jikjisa is believed to have been first constructed by the Goguryeo monk Ado in the year 418, long before Buddhism gained general acceptance in Silla. Jikjisa was largely destroyed during the Seven Year War in the 1590s. The reconstruction of the temple spanned from 1610 to about 1670.

Jikjisa is possibly one of the oldest temples in South Korea and it is relatively well-connected to a convenient train and bus service. Jikjisa Station is located at the foot of the mountain, along the Gyeongbu Line railroad. It is served only by local commuter trains, which run twice daily in each direction. Overnight or weekend temple stay programs are available at the main complex.

Temple admission fees: Adults: 2,500 won Youth: 1,500 won Children: 1,000 won *Free: ages under 6 and over 65

Directions to Jikjisa: - Dong Seoul Terminal to Gimcheon (Departure 3 times a day (10:10, 14:10, 18:10), 3 hour ride). - Get on the bus (No. 11, No. 111) to Jikjisa Temple at Gimcheon Station or Gimcheon Bus Terminal(25 minute ride).

Hiking & mountains

Mt. Hwangaksan (1,111m in elevation), home of Jikjisa, is located in the Sobaeksan Mountains. The area is a habitat for many cranes that reside on this mountain. This location is also known for its pine forests, streams, fall foliage and snowscapes.[citation needed]

Other natural and outdoor cultural properties:


Various events including a beauty pageant, a grape fair, sales and food fair introducing various grape foods are offered every July in the downtown area.

An annual sporting event held at the Sport City every May. Traditional military band performances and ballroom dancing are also offered, in addition to various food events.

An annual festival at the Gimcheon Art Hall every October emphasizing the importance of family through plays and dramatic performances.


Temples and cultural sites

Other places of interest

Shopping and restaurants

Gimcheon's dining options mainly consist of the average Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants that are found throughout Korea.[citation needed] The majority of the city's restaurants are locally owned but some major chains can also be found.[citation needed]

Traditional food

Traditional restaurants can be found in almost all of Gimcheon's districts but the largest concentration of such establishments is located at the base of Jikjisa Temple, in the Jikji Culture Park. The Culture Park features an ample selection of both local and traditional specialities.

Expat and Western dining

The Lucky Penny is a locally owned restaurant in the Bugok-dong neighborhood. The menu includes Western and American favorites such as hamburgers, quesadillas, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and other western dishes.[citation needed] Jared Sandler, Professor of English at Gimcheon University, is a regular visitor to the Lucky Penny. He gained the status of "#1 Customer" after donating a television that hangs on the wall to this very day. [2]


Downtown Gimcheon, centered around the train station, consists of the largest selection of shopping in town. In the middle of town there is a five-day market held on days ending in 0 and 5. Most days, though, there quite a few vendors in the area and the two largest traditional markets in town are always open for business.[citation needed]

Being a smaller town, Gimcheon does lack certain amenities such as large department stores. The closest locations for larger stores is the city of Gumi, located roughly 20 minutes away by train, where shops such as Lotte Mart and Homeplus can easily be found.



Gimcheon is located along the Gyeongbu Expressway and many major roadways connect the city to other surrounding areas.


Main transportation connections are via the Gyeongbu Line and the Gyeongbuk Line train lines. In 2010, a newly constructed KTX station, Gimcheon-Gumi Station opened on the outskirts of the city center The district around this new KTX station is slowly expanding, however, currently it is only accessible by vehicle, local bus or taxi. From the KTX station to Gimcheon Train Station (the main downtown shopping center) via taxi, it is roughly a 15,000 to 20,000₩ expense.[3]

Community and expat information

In 2004, it was reported that the population was 144,587, including 143,527 Koreans and 1,060 non-Koreans.

While Gimcheon is much smaller compared to its nearby counterparts, there is a sizeable expat community scattered amongst the seven district neighborhoods. As of 2013, there are an estimated 40 to 60 expats residing within the city limits, most employed as English teachers through the government run EPIK (English Program in Korea) and TaLK programs.

Local specialties

Administrative districts

Map of Gimcheon in Korean
Map of Gimcheon in Korean
Inset map of Gimcheon
Inset map of Gimcheon

The outlying regions of Gimcheon are divided into fourteen myeon (or townships) and one eup (or large village). In addition, the city center is divided into seven dong, or precincts.

Name Hangeul Hanja
Apo-eup 아포읍 牙浦邑
Nongso-myeon 농소면 農所面
Nam-myeon 남면 南面
Gaeryeong-myeon 개령면 開寧面
Gammun-myeon 감문면 甘文面
Eomo-myeon 어모면 禦侮面
Bongsan-myeon 봉산면 鳳山面
Daehang-myeon 대항면 代項面
Gamcheon-myeon 감천면 甘川面
Joma-myeon 조마면 助馬面
Guseong-myeon 구성면 龜城面
Nongso-myeon 지례면 知禮面
Buhang-myeon 부항면 釜項面
Daedeok-myeon 대덕면 大德面
Jeungsan-myeon 증산면 甑山面
Jasan-dong 자산동 紫山洞
Pyeonghwa Namsan-dong 평화남산동 平和南山洞
Yanggeum-dong 양금동 陽金洞
Daesin-dong 대신동 大新洞
Daegeok-dong 대곡동 大谷洞
Jijwa-dong 지좌동 智佐洞
Yulgok-dong 율곡동 栗谷洞

Sister cities

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See also


  1. ^ Official page of Gimchon(eng)
  2. ^ the opinion of Eric Spence
  3. ^ Gimpo city homepage(Kor)

Coordinates: 36°08′N 128°06′E / 36.133°N 128.100°E / 36.133; 128.100