With Japan re-opening up its borders for visa-free entry on October 11th, the recovery of travel demand is becoming more evident. 😊 This has resulted in more and more people visiting Incheon Airport. Chances are you take the Yeongjong Bridge when going to the airport. 🚕 While driving on this bridge, you’ll be able to see the ocean closest to the metropolitan area and also take a break from driving at its rest stop.
One thing in particular will pop out at you: a huge blue bear 🐻 at the start of Yeongjong Bridge. You’ll further notice there’s a small orange bear on top of the head of the big blue bear. Aren’t you curious why? 😮 Let us at Incheon Airport fill you in on the story of Fortune Bear, the symbol of Yeongjong Bridge’s rest stop, and all the secret spots hidden throughout the area!
The mascot of Yeongjong Bridge’s rest stop, Fortune Bear
When you enter the rest stop of Yeongjong Bridge, you’ll immediately notice a big bear sculpture! It boasts such a huge size that you can see its shape from afar. It is 23.57 meters high and weighs 40 tons, making it the largest steel bear sculpture in the world. In fact, it’s actually listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.✨ This bear, created by Jang Se-il, is called Fortune Bear.
If you look closely at the blue bear’s head, there is a little baby bear on top. It is a modern reinterpretation of the story of Ung-nyeo in Dan-gun mythology and tells the story of a father and a baby bear waiting for Ung-nyeo, the mother bear who left in human form. As the name “Fortune Bear” 🐻 suggests, it also represents sharing fortune with visitors. Knowing that, you can’t help but feel good when looking at it. Surrounding Fortune Bear, you’ll spot locks that people have hung whilst making wishes. Why not make your own wish with a “wish lock” before the year ends?
Delivering all the feels of that moment a year later, The Slow Mailbox
If you pass Fortune Bear and go to the back area, you’ll see Noeul Square (Sunset Square) which has a great walking path that allows you to look out on Yeongjong Bridge and the ocean. Located here is the Slow Mailbox, which will deliver letters that capture the excitement of your trip…a year later. To be honest, not many people use snail mail these days, but the setup still makes for a great photo opp to capture your memories.
For those that are curious about how to use the Slow Mailbox, it’s simple! Go to the second floor of the rest stop where you’ll receive a postcard. Write what you want and drop it in the Slow Mailbox. It’s free of charge for the rest stop visitors to use. It is indeed slow, but just think about how you’ll be able to relive the excitement of your experience a year later! If you’re in the area, be sure to visit and give it a try!
Filled with beautiful photo zones and hidden stories, Yeongjong Bridge Rest Stop
Lastly, let us introduce some photo zones you can take advantage of at the Yeongjong Bridge rest stop. In addition to Fortune Bear and Sunset Square introduced earlier, there are various photo zones, including Jeongseojin Observatory, Lucky Windmills, and Yeongjong Bridge. What makes this place really special is that you can view Yeongjong Island as it changes over time, with the beautiful nature landscape as the backdrop.
If you take the elevator to the 3rd floor, you’ll reach the “Jeongseojin Observatory”! You can see both the wide tidal flats below and the planes taking off and landing above in one glance. In that same glance, you’ll spot off in the distance the Lucky Windmills, or huge wind power generators, and Yeongjong Bridge.
Today, we introduced the Yeongjong Bridge Rest Stop. What’d you think? Next time you’re on your way to visit Incheon Airport, take a better look at Fortune Bear at the Yeongjong Bridge Rest Stop, enjoy the autumn season, and of course, take plenty of pictures!