K-Pop Playground at HiKR Ground

Nandini
July 6, 2023

This is a callout to all the K-POP fans out there. Do you love watching the MVs? Do you just obsess over the visual and the scenes that are presented in the background? Do you love learning the choreography to your favorite music video? Did you ever wish to be in the music video? Well, now that I got your attention, let me introduce you to a place in Seoul that can make your dreams come true, just by a little bit.

Welcome to HiKR Ground!

What is HiKR Ground?

To start off, HiKR Ground stands for “Hi” and “Korea.” The playground is saying hello to tourists visiting Korea and to visit their place for a whole virtual experience. And thankfully, you can visit the experience for free by just walking into the building!

HiKR Ground is a popular entertainment complex located in Seoul, South Korea. It is a dynamic destination that offers a range of exciting activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. The facility encompasses a large indoor space designed to provide an immersive and interactive experience.  The buildings consist of three floors consisting of different things you can find.

This may have sounded pretty vague and you must be wondering where K-pop lies in this. Read on further to discover what each floor consists of and what you can hope to experience during your time there.

Walking in, you are greeted with workers that can help you during your visit. There are large purple stairs that guide to the second floor, but also an elevator to your right. When we walked in the workers guided us to the elevator as the stairs were mainly used for the customers exiting the place. Overall, walking in made my ARMY heart so warm because it legit felt like a BTS themed place (I promise you there is more to that).

Well, to continue the BTS train, once you exit the second floor, you are greeted on the left with a backdrop with all 7 BTS members. It was well decorated with balloons. It is a perfect place to take a picture! I think they had it up as it was during the time of their 10th anniversary. Moving on, to the right is where the main show is at. As mentioned before, this place gives you a virtual experience! What kind of virtual experience do you ask? The experience of being in a music video set, aka an MV set. As an avid K-pop listener myself, I love watching the videos of all different artists because of how gorgeous the visuals are.  This place gives a chance for you to live the dream. Because not only can you take pictures of you posing in there, but outside is a device that controls the lighting and music played in the set. The music app used on the device was Spotify. Though you cannot search the song with a keyboard, they have a selection of all the popular songs beyond K-pop. With that, all you need is a camera, and you can record your own music video in the set or make your own skit using the set.

This one was one of the four sets that they had, which replicates the inside of the metro. I think of how many K-pop music videos that showcase the groups inside the metro for the aesthetic, or perhaps a deeper meaning behind their song. Examples of artists that have the metros in their videos: Stray Kids ‘Maniac,’ Treasure’s ‘JIKJIN,’ Twice’s ‘Heart Shaker’ etc.

Stop by to make your own metro scene!

This next set has a deep place in my heart. ARMY’s can easily recognize this set from the music video ‘Spring Day’ by BTS. I know I said there is more to BTS stuff but bear with me. Spring day is my favorite song as well as many other fans favorite. There is a laundry scene that one of the members, Jin, is recorded where he is in the laundry room as the lyrics translates to “please stay there longer.” Ugh, such an amazing song. I could go on and on about it, but this is not a Spring Day blog. This is a must visit! There is also a white board in the back where you can write heartfelt messages to BTS to spread love (not sure if they will see it though).

Here is a big stage with a virtual background. What is so cool is that you can change the background image to whatever best fits your vision. There are limited options you can choose from but nonetheless still cool. And again, you can choose what song you want to play on the stage. During my time there, I saw a girl singing on the stage and was being recorded. She looked so cool. If only I brought my dance friends along and wore a cute outfit, I would have performed and recorded it for fun! Do not be shy or feel weird when using the place for videos. It is completely normal, and no one will judge you. They will be watching you because they want to see how amazing you look!

One last set that you can record is in the back. It’s the same as the stage set where you can choose your own virtual background. This set gives me an outer space type of feel with the metal sides. It kind of gives me the same vibes as ‘Kill This Love’ by Blackpink. The time I went it was being used by someone so I apologize for the picture not being clear. So, if you feel a little shy from the public, might as well use this set as it is in the back corner. That is all for the second floor ☺.

HiKR Art Museum

Moving on to the third floor. The third floor consisted of an art museum about Korean history. There were famous Korean art pieces made by local known artists such as Kim Hong Shik and Lee Lee Nam. Though I did not get to read through all the pieces of history, I thought it was cool that HiKR ground showcase not only the pop culture aspect of Korea but also the traditional side. It really presents how time has changed as well as the display of art. If you have time, you should read through these pieces and support the next K-art movement.

On the right of the museum was a large pillar displaying K-pop idols. It happened to be that Jin showed up when I took the picture. Everything was BTS themed during their time of their anniversary. There was also a wall where people hung up their pictures from photobooths. There was no photobooth in the building though. I think it was still a cute interactive touch to have for visitors.

Next is the fourth floor. The fourth floor consisted of an HiKr cave as well as Fest Cube. We were not able to go to the Fest Cube as there was some tour going around, but upon research i found out that this cube is a digital space where you learn about local festivals. The HiKR cave though was cool. It was very nature-y in the sense there were fake plants running along the cave’s side. This cave was a place to sit and relax. With research, I found from John Legaspi’s blog that this cave is highlighting the sectors of tourism in South Korea: beauty, nature and forest, traditional medicine, and meditation. Again, I think this place takes the time to be informative about Korea, in that there is more to it than just the media culture aspect. Writing this blog also makes me reflect on how there is so much more to Korea and so much to educate ourselves about it to really appreciate the country and its culture.

Coffee Break

To end it on a happy note, there is café located on the fifth floor. There were various cakes, pastries, as well as croffles. If you do not know, croffles are just sweet croissants that is pressed on a waffle maker. I had my very first milk cream croffle at this café and it was delicious. I also got an iced vanilla latte there and it was pretty good. The seating at this place was cute too! You can sit on these comfortable couches, or some cushioned chairs. The seating gets filled quickly though so be on the lookout for spots. I saw that they were building some pink area on the other corner of the café, but I yet to know what it is. Hopefully it gets built soon and maybe on your next visit you can talk about what it is!

Summary:

Overall, I give this place a solid 8/10. I like to rank the places I visit so I can give others an insight to my experience. I think this was a cute place to visit for free and take lots of pictures. I do recommend dressing up when coming her because you never know, what if you wanted to have a photoshoot or maybe make your own music video! The best part about this place is that it is interactive, but you also can just chill there as well. You can make it a quick visit or stay if you like. Hopefully this blog helps you out in knowing what you are expecting when you visit. I hope to see some performances recorded there!

Operating Hours:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00-19:00

Home page:

http://hikr.visitkorea.or.kr/

Address:

40 Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul

How to get there:

Euljiro 1(il) Station, Exit 2, a seven minute walk

YouTube:

If you are a visual person and you want to see how HiKR ground really looks, you should check out our YouTube channel @shuttledelivery. Not only does it showcase HiKR Ground but other places to visit if you love K-pop or want cute backgrounds for photos!