2006, May 09
The historical TV drama "The Four Gods" (太王四神記), which has begun shooting on Jeju Island, has attracted many Japanese tourists to its sets.
According to the island province’s tourism industry on May 9, the number of Japanese tourists to the island was a mere 15,230 during the January-February period this year due to the won currency’s appreciation against the Japanese yen, despite the opening of the "Year of Visit Jeju, 2006." This figure shows a drop of 12.8 percent (2,233) from 17,463 during the corresponding period last year.
But since mid-March when "The Four Gods" starring top hallyu star Bae Yong-joon began shooting, the number of Japanese female tourists has significantly increased. As of the end of April, the total number of Japanese tourists has risen to 40,808, up 4.8 percent (1,861) from the same period last year (38,947).
The increase was attributed to the dramatic hike in the number of Japanese female tourists. In contrast to a mere 3,932 last year, the number of Japanese female tourists has sharply increased to 5,995, or 52.5 percent (2,063), this year.
Among other things, 30 to 100 Japanese female tourists are visiting daily the Myosanbong Tourist Zone in Gujwa-eup, North Jeju County where open sets are being set up for "The Four Gods." This group is leading the overall rising trend of Japanese tourists to Jeju.
Accordingly, the Jeju provincial government has placed benches, shade screens, and restrooms to increase convenience for tourists visiting the drama sets, while also planning to build more comfort facilities, including drinking water fountains.
An official from the provincial government said, "Early this month, when the Japanese people observed ‘Golden Week,’ we had a large number of tourists from Japan. We expect the number of Japanese tourists to further increase when the Japanese network KNTV airs throughout Japan scenes of the drama sets and its interviews with the drama producers."
"The Four Gods," a historical drama focusing on King Gwanggaeto the Great (廣開土大王, 375-413, the 19th king of the Goguryo Kingdom) as its main theme, will be produced by Cheongam Entertainment. Various kinds of its open sets are being built on a land lot measuring approximately 72,600 square meters in an area at San 157-4, Gimnyong-li, North Jeju County with the aim of completing them late next month. To be specific, a mock palace will be built on a lot measuring 3,867.6 square meters, a village of aristocrats on a lot measuring 765.6 square meters, a marketplace on a lot measuring 1,273.8 square meters, and an outer castle wall on a lot measuring 1,056 square meters.