When you hear the word Busan, the thing that comes into your mind is the ‘sea,’ and if you think of the sea the thing that comes into your mind is definitely the fresh seafood. The Jagalchi Market that has a long history in Busan is a typical tourist sight of Busan. The Jagalchi Market that lies from Nampodong Jung-gu to Chungmudong Seo-gu in Busan is nearby the Nampodong area which is the main downtown of Busan, so there are many tourists. There is a story that says the reason the market was namee ‘Jagalchi’ was because there were many ‘jagal(pebbles)’ in the area, and another story that says that it came from the word ‘galchi(hairtail).’
If you enter the Jagalchi Market, you can smell the somewhat fishy smell of the seafood. There are many sushi restaurants because you can dress and eat fresh-caught seafood on the spot. Recently due to the radiation leak of Japan the sales are slowing down a little, but since it is the biggest fish market in Busan, the Jagalchi Market is always crowded with people. The grilled fish from fresh-caught fish is the best food in the Jagalchi Market. When you enter the Jagalchi Market you can easily find restaurants that sell grilled fish, and you can pass by the owners of the restaurants that call people to come in. Along with the grilled fish, grilled sea eel is also the famous food here. When mealtime comes, your mouth gets watered from the delicious smell of the grilled fish being cooked in the restaurants.
There are many bystanders that watch the people dressing the fresh-caught fish with great tact, and you can see a lot of seafood that are alive moving around. As one lays out crabs that have been caught, the fish that scatter around and flop about look pretty fresh.
If you go through the Jagalchi Market to the beach there is a small waterfront park. There is the Yeongdo Bridge right next to it, and you can also see large ships fishing nearby. The Yeongdo Bridge is a bridge that gets connected to Yeongdo-gu of Busan, and before that there is the Gwangbok branch of the Lotte Dept. Store. Many tourists visit this place because they can see the sea, and you can also easily find the elderly that have visited the market taking a break. You can also take the chug boat at the dock to go on a sea travel to Yeongdo.
Famous for its way of speaking ‘Oiso(come), Boiso(look), Saiso(buy),’ at the Jagalchi Market you can not only find fresh seafood but also the passion of people working hard at their site of life and the energy of frugal people that have come to the market for shopping. You can hear the rough but affectionate unique dialect of Busan, and it is full of energy here. The expression ‘Jagalchi Ajuma(madam)’ came from our mothers that have started to sell at the Jagalchi Market during the Korean War for living,
The auction for seafood starts at early dawn here, a little earlier than other places, and closes at about sunset. So if you visit here around evening everything has ended and is silent. For those of you visiting the Jagalchi Market for the first time, if you come here before sunset you can see the Jagalchi Market full of energy.
If you visit the waterfront park at night again, there is whole different scenery in front of you. Lights that have been lit up shine and sparkle being reflected to the seawater. And at the fish market where a big ship was anchored during daytime you can see the merchants closing down their business for the day. To the back of the market the street lights of Bumindong embroider the night. The unique scenery of the mountain village is pretty unusual.
The Jagalchi Market is a historical place with its history of more than 100 years. The Jagalchi Market where the joys and sorrows of the commoners remain untouched is surely fit to be called the symbol of Busan.