Incheon

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This article is about the city. For the airport, see Incheon International Airport. For other uses, see Incheon (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 37°29′N 126°38′E / 37.483°N 126.633°E / 37.483; 126.633

Incheon
인천시
Metropolitan City
Incheon Metropolitan City
Korean name transcription(s)
 • Hangul
 • Hanja
 • Revised Romanization Incheon Gwang-yeoksi
 • McCune-Reischauer Inch'ŏn Kwang'yŏkshi
[[File:|270px]]
Incheon International Airport Nam-gu
Incheon Memorial
Clockwise from top: Incheon Football Stadium, Nam District, Incheon Memorial, Incheon International Airport
Flag of Incheon
Flag
Official logo of Incheon
Seal of Incheon
Map of South Korea with Incheon highlighted
Map of South Korea with Incheon highlighted
Coordinates: 37°29′N 126°38′E / 37.483°N 126.633°E / 37.483; 126.633
Country South Korea South Korea
Region Seoul National Capital Area
Founded 1105 as Gyeongwon
Subdivisions
Government
 • Type Metropolitan City
 • Mayor Yoo jung-bok
 • Council Chairman Ryu Su-yong
Area
 • Total 1,029.43 km2 (397.47 sq mi)
Population (October, 2014)[1]
 • Total 2,899,071
 • Density 2,800/km2 (7,300/sq mi)
Time zone Korea Standard Time (UTC+9)
Dialect Seoul
Flower Rose
Tree Tulip tree
Bird Crane
Website incheon.go.kr

Incheon (Korean: 인천, 仁川 Korean pronunciation: [intɕʰʌn]) literally 'kind river', formerly romanized as Inchon, and officially the Incheon Metropolitan City, is a city located in northwestern South Korea, bordering Seoul and Gyeonggi to the east. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.9 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan. While people have inhabited the area since the New Stone Age, the city's growth was assured in modern times with the development of its port due to its natural advantages as a coastal city and its proximity to the South Korean capital. It is part of the Seoul Capital Area, along with Seoul itself and Gyeonggi Province, forming the world's third largest metropolitan area by population.

Incheon has since led the economic development of Korea by opening its port to the outside world, ushering in the modernization of Korea as a center of industrialization. In 2003, the city was designated as Korea’s first free economic zone. Since then, large local companies and global enterprises have increasingly invested in the Incheon Free Economic Zone, including Samsung which chose Songdo International City as its new investment destination for its bio industry.

As an international city, Incheon has held numerous large scale international conferences, such as the Incheon Global Fair & Festival in 2009. The 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 was also held in Incheon on September 19, 2014. Incheon has established itself as a major transportation hub in northeast Asia with the world renowned Incheon International Airport and Incheon Port. The city is also home to the Green Climate Fund, an international organization addressing environmental issues.

History[edit]

The first historical record of the Incheon area dates back to 475 AD. during the reign of King Jangsu of Goguryeo by the name of "Michuhol," which is supposed to be located on today's Munhak Hill (문학산). The area underwent several name changes with successive kingdoms and dynasties. In Goryeo era, Incheon was called Gyeongwon (경원) or Inju (인주). The current name was established in 1413. Later, Incheon County became Incheon Metropolitan Prefecture (dohobu, 도호부). Old Incheon consisted of today's southern Incheon (i.e. Jung-gu, Dong-gu, Nam-gu, Yeonsu-gu, and Namdong-gu) and northern part of Siheung City. The city centre was Gwangyo-dong, where the prefecture office (도호부청사) and the local academy (hyanggyo, 향교) were located. The "original" two remaining buildings of the Incheon prefecture office are located in Munhak Elementary School, while the newly built (in 2001) prefecture office buildings are right across from Munhak Baseball Stadium.

However, the name Jemulpo was not widely used until the opening of the port in 1883.[2][3] After the opening of the Incheon port, the city centre moved from Gwangyo to Jemulpo. Today, either Jemulpo or Gwangyo-dong is considered "Deep Incheon"(원인천). It was renamed as "Jinsen" during Japanese rule in Korean peninsula.

Incheon was the site of the Battle of Chemulpo Bay, where the first shots of the Russo-Japanese War were fired. In 1914, the Japanese colonial government merged outer parts of old Incheon (including the former centre of Gwangyo) with Bupyeong County, forming Bucheon County. Through 1936 and 1940, some part of Bucheon County was recombined into Incheon City, by which some part of "old" Bupyeong was annexed into Incheon.

On September 15, 1950, during the Korean War, Incheon was the site of the Battle of Inchon, when United States troops landed to relieve pressure on the Pusan Perimeter and to launch a United Nations offensive northward. The result was a decisive UN victory.[4] The USS Inchon was named after the tide-turning battle that ensued.

Incheon was originally part of Gyeonggi Province, but was granted Directly Governed (now Metropolitan) City status on July 1, 1981; the city officially separated from the province. In 1989, neighbouring islands and Gyeyang township of Gimpo County[5] were ceded to Incheon and in 1995 Geomdan township of Gimpo Country was annexed to Incheon Metropolitan City.

Incheon was known as Inchon prior to South Korea's adoption of a new Romanization system in 2000.

Major events[edit]

The city was the site of the Battle of Chemulpo Bay, where the first shots of the Russo-Japanese War were fired and the site of the Battle of Inchon during the Korean War.

Incheon also hosted a series of major international events. The Global Fair & Festival 2009 Incheon, Korea was held in the Songdo District in August 2009. It was open from August 7 to October 25 for a period of 80 days. It was a comprehensive international event with global institutions and corporations as participants.Various musicians and artists performed during the event.

The city hosted a meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers in February 2010.[6] Incheon was the site of the third Global Model United Nations Conference, held from 10th to the 14th of August 2011.

It first hosted the Incheon Women Artists' Biennale in 2004 which expanded into welcoming international artists in its subsequent 2007, 2009[7] and 2011.

Incheon has also won the bid to host the Asian Games in 2014.

Education[edit]

On February 27, 2007, Incheon declared itself an "English City," and inaugurated the "Incheon Free English Zone" program. The goal of the program is to make Incheon as much an English speaking city as Hong Kong and Singapore are.[8] This is for the ultimate purpose of establishing Incheon as a commercial and business hub of northeast Asia (see Free Economic Zone below). The official slogan of the program is "Smile with English."

Higher education[edit]

Incheon is home to several colleges and universities:

Climate[edit]

Incheon has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa). Incheon's climate is about average compared to the rest of Korea, with 8 locations being cooler and 10 locations being warmer, and with 9 locations being wetter and 9 locations being drier.[9]

Incheon experiences each of its four seasons, distinctly feeling the rise and fall of temperature and humidity. The temperature however, never rises to an extreme, and the climate of the city is essentially mild. Incheon is swept by the seasonal winds as the northwesterly winds strike the city in the winter and the summer in Incheon is affected by gusts of the warm southwesterly winds.[10]

Climate data for Incheon (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1.7
(35.1)
4.4
(39.9)
9.6
(49.3)
16.1
(61)
21.3
(70.3)
25.4
(77.7)
27.6
(81.7)
29.0
(84.2)
25.5
(77.9)
19.7
(67.5)
11.8
(53.2)
4.7
(40.5)
16.4
(61.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.1
(28.2)
0.3
(32.5)
5.1
(41.2)
11.3
(52.3)
16.4
(61.5)
20.9
(69.6)
24.0
(75.2)
25.2
(77.4)
21.1
(70)
15.0
(59)
7.6
(45.7)
0.9
(33.6)
12.1
(53.8)
Average low °C (°F) −5.4
(22.3)
−3.1
(26.4)
1.7
(35.1)
7.6
(45.7)
12.8
(55)
17.6
(63.7)
21.5
(70.7)
22.4
(72.3)
17.5
(63.5)
11.0
(51.8)
3.9
(39)
−2.6
(27.3)
8.7
(47.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 20.6
(0.811)
20.8
(0.819)
40.5
(1.594)
57.7
(2.272)
100.3
(3.949)
112.0
(4.409)
319.6
(12.583)
285.8
(11.252)
153.5
(6.043)
53.4
(2.102)
51.0
(2.008)
19.3
(0.76)
1,234.4
(48.598)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 6.6 5.3 6.7 7.3 8.7 9.7 14.9 12.5 8.2 6.2 8.5 7.3 101.9
 % humidity 61.5 61.8 63.4 64.1 70.3 74.8 82.2 79.1 73.1 67.3 63.9 62.0 68.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 178.0 181.5 204.9 219.4 231.4 203.4 156.8 191.0 197.6 211.2 168.6 171.0 2,314.9
Source: Korea Meteorological Administration[11]

Transport[edit]

Incheon is a major domestic and international transport hub for Korea.

Inside Incheon International Airport

Air[edit]

Incheon International Airport, a regional air hub, is South Korea's primary international airport.

There were a total of 160,843 flights (157,134 international, 3,709 domestic) to and from Incheon International Airport in 2005, an average of 441 flights (431 international, 10 domestic) daily. 59.7% of the flights were serviced by Korea’s two national carriers, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, with foreign carriers servicing the remaining 40.3%, which breaks down as follows: China 45,125 flights {28.1% of total}, Japan ,352 {20.1%}, Southeast Asia 30,567 {19%}, Americas 27,916 {17.4%}, Europe 11,082 {6.9%}, Domestic 3,709 {2.3%}, Oceania 2,811 {1.7%}, others 7,281 {4.5%}.

Also featured in the Korean drama series, "Air City."

Sea[edit]

Incheon's sea port is the second largest port in Korea after Busan's sea port.

The International Passenger Terminal located at the port offers ferries to five cities in China: Dalian, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dandong, and Weihai. There are also ferries to Incheon's outlying islands as well as Baengnyeong Island inside of the Northern Limit Line.

Buses[edit]

Incheon Bus Terminal, located at its eponymous subway stop, offers express bus transportation to all parts of Korea. Many city bus lines offer transportation within city limits as well as to the neighboring cities of Bucheon, Gimpo, Seoul, and Siheung.

Many BRT lines offer transportation between Seoul and Incheon.

Train[edit]

Local service to Guro, Seoul, Cheongnyangni, Uijeongbu and Soyosan is offered by Seoul's subway Line 1. The line has 11 stations within Incheon and connects to the Incheon Subway at Bupyeong station.

Rapid service on the same line to Yongsan Station in Seoul depart from Dongincheon station and stops at major stations.

The Airport Express (AREX) line runs from Incheon International Airport to Seoul Station via Gimpo International Airport. The Incheon-Gimpo section was opened in March 2007 and was extended to Seoul station in December 2010. Passengers can choose a high-speed service stopping only at Incheon airport and Seoul, which takes 43 minutes but departs only every half-hour; or the all-station service which takes 53 minutes but leaves every six minutes.

Subway[edit]

Main article: Incheon Subway

The Incheon Subway has a single subway line serving the city. It connects to the Seoul Metropolitan Subway system at Bupyeong station, and AREX line at Gyeyang station. The line has 28 stations on 29.4 kilometres (18.3 miles) of track. The Incheon subway is operated by the Incheon Rapid Transit Corporation (IRTC).

Planned extensions and additions: IRTC has a plan to construct a second line, Line 2. It will extend from Oryu, Seo-gu to Incheon Grand Park, and will have 27 stations on 29.2 km (18.1 miles) of track. Line 2 is under construction from June 26, 2009 to 2014.

Korail is constructing a new subway line from Incheon station to Suwon station by 2013. It will have 10 stations within Incheon.

SMRT (one of three operating companies of Seoul Metropolitan Subway) has extended Seoul Metropolitan Subway Line 7 to Bupyeong-gu office by 2011 and provided transfers to the Incheon Subway system. It has 3 stations within Incheon.

Free Economic Zone[edit]

The Incheon Free Economic Zone consists of the three regions of Songdo, Cheongna, and the island of Yeongjong, and has a total area of 51,739 acres (20,938 ha). The goal of IFEZ is to transform these three areas into hubs for logistics, international business, leisure, and tourism for the Northeast Asian region. The term 'Free Economic Zone' applies to the development in these three areas with the aim of improving the business environment for foreign-invested enterprises and the living conditions for foreigners. The zone is a specially designated area to create the most favorable business and living environment where foreign nationals can live and invest freely and conveniently. Incheon's Free Economic Zone, the first in Korea, was officially designated by the Korean government in August 2003. IFEZ is planned to be a self-contained living and business district featuring air and sea transportation, a logistics complex, an international business center, financial services, residences, schools and hospitals, and shopping and entertainment centres.

New Songdo City[edit]

Songdo International City began development in 1994 and is being built on reclaimed land. It is designated to become a center of diverse international businesses, a hub for international trade, an area for knowledge-based technologies, and a place for eco-friendly urban living. Construction is due to be completed in 2020.

  • Development size: 13,162 acres (53.26 km2)
  • Planned population: 252,000 persons
  • Construction duration: 1994~2020

Yeongjong Island[edit]

As of 2012, Yeongjong International City’s 34,183 acres (13,833 ha) centering on the Incheon International Airport is being developed as an eco-friendly airport city scheduled to be completed by 2020. Paradise Co, a South Korean casino operator, said in October 2013 that it will build the country’s largest casino on Yeongjong Island.[12]

Cheongna[edit]

The Cheongna district, on the mainland adjacent Yeongjong Island, will focus on entertainment and will feature a world class theme park. It will also be a residential area with sports facilities, a floriculture complex, and a business area specially designed for international finance.

  • Development Size: 4,394 acres (1,778 ha)
  • Planned population: 90,000 persons
  • Duration: 2004~2008

Administrative divisions[edit]

Administrative divisions of Incheon

Incheon is divided into 8 districts (gu) and 2 counties (gun).

Religion[edit]






Circle frame.svg

Religion in Incheon (2005)[13]

  Not religious (50.1%)
  Protestantism (22.4%)
  Buddhism (13.8%)
  Catholicism (13.7%)

According to the census of 2005, of the people of Incheon 36.1% follow Christianity (22.4% Protestantism and 13.7% Catholicism) and 13.8% follow Buddhism.[13] 50.1% of the population is mostly not religious or follow Muism and other indigenous religions.

Sports[edit]

Incheon is home to the following professional and semi professional sports teams:

Football (Soccer) The K-League team Incheon United FC.
The Incheon team was known to have a popular rivalry against former Bucheon SK(now Jeju United), due to the teams' close geographical relationship.

The WK-League team Hyundai Steel Red Angels.

Baseball The KBO team SK Wyverns BC.
The first Incheon-based pro-baseball team was Sammi(one of major steel companies in 1980s) Superstars.

Basketball The KBL team Incheon ET Land Elephants.

Volleyball The V-League teams Incheon Korean Air Jumbos and Incheon Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders.

Munhak Sports Complex The Munahk Sports Complex houses both a football(soccer) stadium and a baseball stadium. The football(soccer) stadium was Incheon's venue for the 2002 Football World Cup, and is also the home venue for Incheon United. The baseball stadium is the home venue for the SK Wyverns.

On April 19, 2007, Incheon was selected as the host city for the 2014 Asian Games, beating out New Delhi.[14]

Yeonhui Cricket Ground Yeonhui Cricket Ground is a newly built cricket stadium in Incheon. The 2014 Asian Games will feature cricket for both the men's and the women's event and this ground will be used for the scheduled cricket matches to be played in the games. It has been reported that the crowd capacity of this ground will be 2,353. This first cricket stadium in South Korea.


Incheon Football Stadium (Sungui Arena) Incheon Football Stadium is the first football-only stadium. It was built in 2012, Incheon United is using this stadium as their home since opening. It's capacity is about 20,300.

Points of interest[edit]

Bupyeong Station is where the Seoul Subway Line 1 and Incheon subway line intersect. There is a large under ground shopping center there mostly selling trendy women's clothing and cell phones. Above ground, there are many restaurants, additional shops, and a Lotte Mart.

A number of Korea's western islands, including Ganghwa Island, Yeongjong Island, and Baengnyeong Island are also administered by Incheon. Baengnyeong Island is South Korea's westernmost point.

Jayu (Freedom) Park is a park near the city's port. The statue of General Douglas MacArthur, as well as a memorial to the centennial anniversary of U.S. and Korea relations is located there.

Chinatown is Korea's only official Chinatown, located across from Incheon Station near Jayu Park.

Incheon Bus Terminal refers to an area surrounding the city's bus terminal. There is also a performance venue and a subway station. Within this area of Guwol-dong is Rodeo Street, a busy central square packed with restaurants and department stores.

Wolmido is the location of Green Beach, one of the landing sites for MacArthur's invasion force. It is now a local tourist attraction with a boardwalk, an amusement park and many raw fish restaurants. Ferries run from Wolmido to Yeongjongdo and Jakyakdo.

Jakyakdo is a tiny island located in the harbor close between Wolmido and Yeongjongdo. There are many walkways and picnic spots, a restaurant, and seasonal rental rooms.

Incheon Landing Operation Memorial Hall is a plaza and small museum dedicated to the Incheon Landing. Weapons and artifacts from the war and operation are displayed.

Incheon Dohobu Cheongsa is the old government complex for Incheon. Located near Munhak Stadium, it has existed since at least the reign of King Sejong, about 1424 A.D.

Ara Canal is a waterway connecting the Han River and the Yellow Sea. Along the canal is a park and a bike path that is increasingly becoming popular with the locals.

Incheon's government has many plans for restoring Incheon's old town.

People from Incheon[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Incheon is twinned with:[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://rcps.egov.go.kr:8081/ageStat.do?command=month
  2. ^ Incheon Metropolitan City
  3. ^ Ewing, Stefan. "By Train from Seoul to Incheon -- and Jemulpo, too." Korea Web, 25 January 2006.
  4. ^ Bill Sloan, The Darkest Summer: Pusan and Inchon 1950: The Battles That Saved South Korea---and the Marines---From Extinction(2009)
  5. ^ Prior to 1973, the township belonged to Bucheon or old Bupyeong.
  6. ^ http://www.g8.utoronto.ca/g20/
  7. ^ "Spotlight on Women Artists at Incheon Biennale". Korea Times. 2009-07-30. 
  8. ^ "Arirang News". Arirang.co.kr. 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  9. ^ Inchon, Korea: Climate, Global Warming, and Daylight Charts and Data
  10. ^ Incheon Weather, Climate of Incheon, Incheon’s weather
  11. ^ "평년값자료 30년 (1981-2010) 인천(112)". Korea Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  12. ^ "New casino complex to be built near Incheon airport". The Korea Observer. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b 2005 Census - Religion Results
  14. ^ The Korea Herald : The Nation's No.1 English Newspaper
  15. ^ Metropolitan City
  16. ^ "Incheon Sister Cities". Incheon Metropolitan City. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  17. ^ Mazumdar, Jaideep (17 November 2013). "A tale of two cities: Will Kolkata learn from her sister?". Times of India (New Delhi). Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "Kobe's Sister Cities". Kobe Trade Information Office. Archived from the original on 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 

External links[edit]