After our 2 hour bus ride, we arrived to central Seoul. The first stop was the Korea House, where we got to see a traditional dance and music performance, observe replicas of old Korean homes, and eat some bibimbap for lunch.
The performance was my favorite part. The drumming performance was intense yet elegant, the bamboo flute performance made me want to improve my flute skills, the female dancers wore beautiful dresses that expanded when they twirled and quickly shrunk when they stopped, and the male dancers wore hats with long ribbons that created a wave as they moved.
We then moved on to see Gyeong-bok-gung, a palace that I had seen in my previous visit to Seoul. Temperature-wise, we were at the worst scorching hours of 2-3pm, but it was also the best time to take pictures because the sky was clear. I learned from our staff that the palace roof was designed aesthetically so that the roof would be parallel with the mountains when you look at it from a certain angle, and the square rocks on the floor were angled differently on purpose, so that the sunshine would not reflect into the palace too much.
Our last stop was the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History. As a Japanese American, it was a reminder for me that Japan has treated Korea horribly. I hope that this would never happen again to anyone. Culture, language, and national pride should never be taken away by force. The museum also showed modern history like the movies, the olympics, and the evolution of smartphones. At the gift shop, I bought myself some cute postcards that depicted the four seasons in Korea. I am starting to get used to using the Korean Won!