sokcho lighthouse

The oldest record from where the name of Sokcho can be verified is “Yeojidoseo”, a map book published in Youngjo 36th (1760) of Joseon Dynasty. The full address of Sokcho was Sokcho-ri, Sicheon-myoen, Yangyangdohobu.

Genesis by Myth

The Chinese word for Sokcho is ‘束草.’ The meanings of Sok(束) and cho(草) are to tie up and grass respectively. Also, there is a myth related to the name of Sokcho, the story of ‘Yeongkeumjeong.’ A mountain with pine trees is located on a cape and beside Yeongkeumjeong. The mountain with pine trees looks like a standing object that is made out of pine tree and grass tied up together. That is how the name was originated.

Additionally, according to the theory of divination based on topography, since the land form of Sokcho is reflects a cow laying down and chewing grass; however, a cow cannot eat grass well while lying down. Thus, it is better for everyone to tie up grass so that the cow can chew the grass easily. That description became the name of the city, Sokcho. Another myth is about the Ulsanbawi, a big rounded rock. The governor of Ulsan village came to request a Buddhist priest of Sinheungsa(temple), located on the Seorak-mountain for land fee because the rock name is Ulsan. The Buddhist priest paid the land fee every year since then. One day, he became poor and was not able to pay the fee. As a result, he asked the governor of Ulsan village to take the rock back. The governor replied that I would carry the rock if you could tie up the rock. Thus, the Buddhist priest made strew rope out of horsetail grass, growing between Cheongcho-lake and Youngrang-lake, and tied up the rock by the rope to be burned down. The ashes of the burn looked like a shape that is a lock tied up by a rope. After that, the governor could not insist on the land fee or claim the rock as well.

After that incident, the land between Cheongcho-lake and Youngrang-lake is called by the current name of this city, Sokcho, meaning of tying up by a rope made of grass.

Genesis by Record

According to a book, the General Survey of Place-Names in Korea, “Sokcho-ri was called as Soksaeul or Soksaegol because there were plenty of Soksae, horsetail grass.” Since the Chinese version of Soksae is Sokcho(束草), both names coexisted for a while and then Soksae was disappeared. As a result, Sokcho became the name of the place.

mokho lighthouse
Location 1-7, Yeongrang-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
(N 38°12'6"/E 128°36'1".)
Launching date June 8, 1957
Visual Aids Type BABALT 3-lamp (220V - 400W)
Intensity Fl(4)W45s
Effective Range 21 miles Geographical, 31 miles optical, 19 miles(35km) nominal
Sound Type Electrical horn (400w)
Whistling frequency A 45-second (5 seconds with 40 second pause)
Effective Range 2 miles (3.7km)
Staff 3 including the director
Contacts Phone : +82-33- 633-3406
E - mail :


In line with the need for building a large port facility, the need of Sokcho lighthouse was raised.
The then Marine Affairs Office started construction in December 1956, with the lighting, generator and battery purchased by government budget and UNKRA aids, and launched operation on June 8, 1957.

Structure and Features of the Light Tower

  • Structure : A round-shaped concert structure. 48m above the sea level with 10 m-high foundation elevation.
  • Features : The lightings are BALAT 3-lamp type. BALAT was named after the inventor. 1,000 mm lens diameter. The lightings were manufactured in 1953, and it is rotated by gravity. A weight comes down in 7 hours and goes up by manually (now it operates by motor), which is the only one that remains in Korea, adding its historical value.


  • June 8, 1957 : Mukho Sea control office of Sea control office(Establishment of lighthouse and first lighting).
  • December 29, 1964 : Installation of sound signal equipment (Air Siren).
  • July 21, 1997 : Installation of racon(One Racon1W, one solar battery, six electric chargers, and one electric charge and discharge controller).
  • December 1943 : Jumunjin lighthouse, Japanese Joseon government.
  • September 28, 1998 : Reinstallation of racon after moving: Sokcho lighthouse → Jodo lighthouse.
  • September 11, 1999 : Creation of cultural space for water and opening exhibition center of lighthouse.
  • December 20, 2006 : Completion of total maintenance construction for Sokcho navigation aid office.


Sokcho lighthouse provides the unique living lessons of its own in navigation aids. A various navigations aids including Sokcho breakwater, lighted buoy, unwatched lighthouse, light beacon are displayed. Sokcho lighthouse is the only one that can show such a variety of aids, which is very helpful for the public as well as the staff to understand the navigation aids. Exhibition room is available in first floor, where the photos and the data of various navigation aids, together with fishes living in the east coast, lighthouses in foreign countries and marine exploration in the South Pole are available for view. This becomes popular to make it a regular course for the students in summer break, as learning and traveling site with parents.

Scenic Place

Situated in the Sokcho-si near the truce line dividing the two Koreas after the Korean War, Sokcho lighthouse was once better known as "Yeonggeumjeong Sokcho Lighthouse watchtower." Younggeumjung is the rocky mountain that makes strange sound when the waves hit the mountain. It sounds like "Geomungo" (a Korean lute). A harbor work started in the days of Japanese colonial rule, breaking the rocky mountain. That's why it still has a large rocky area. "Yeonggeumjeong sun-rise pavilion" provides a scenic sun-rise, coupled with the natural beauty of Seoraksan and the beautiful scene extended to Geumgangsan along the seashore, which makes good harmony with the lighthouse. Because of its wonderful view, the lighthouse was designated by the city as the first scenic spot of Sokcho during “99 Sockcho World Tourism Expo.”
The lighthouse has enjoyed average of fifteen thousand visitors every month during the summer holiday season of the fantastic breathtaking view from the watchtower. Thus, it has been the most famous place for tourist in the East Sea area.
From the lighthouse, there are two swimming beaches with wonderful sands in North and South, Younrangho, a natural lake with circumference of 8km and extent of 1,188,000m2 in Northwest, Cheongchoho, the 4th scenic spot of Sokcho and the base of migratory birds in Southwest, the opened East Sea in East, and magnificent Seoraksan in West.
Sokcho lighthouse is surrounded by fantastic scenic beauties. Especially, the panorama of Seoraksan viewed from the observation platform of the lighthouse is the only breathtaking view of Sokcho. Thus, many tourists are naturally touched and surprised. There are the eight scenic spots of Sokcho beginning with the first scenic spot, Sokcho lighthouse. It would be better for you to follow the order of the eight scenic spots of Sokcho from the first scenic spot, Sokcho lighthouse, to the 8th scenic spot, Sangdomun Hakmujeong.

Tourist Attractions

  • The Second Scenic Spot of Sokcho: Yeongrang Lake Bumbawi (Tiger Rock)
    Yeongrang-lake is a natural lake with 8km-wide and 1 million square meters. According to ancient records, an elite youth corps of Silla Kingdom, named Yeongrang, Sullang, Ansang and Namseok impressed by a scenic beauty of the lake and Ulsan rock, on their way back home after a hard discipline in Geumgangsan, stayed long enjoying a poetical living. Since then, the lake was called Yeongrang lake.
  • The Third Scenic Spot of Sokcho - Cheongdaesan(Mt.) at Cheongdaeri
    It is surrounded by pine trees at 230m elevation and was named Cheongdaesan for its freshness. In Soya 8 scenes, it was called "Cheongdae Hwabyeong (vase)" because the mountain looked a picture on a folding-screen. As the peaks of Seoraksan are all in sight from the top, it serves as natural watchtower. Cheongdaesan is getting more popular for the Sokcho citizens as hiking course. After visiting Cheongcho lake, viewing the scenery of Sokcho must be another pleasure.
  • The Fourth Scenic Spot of Sokcho - Cheongcho Lake
    It is 5m wide-lake looks like a wine bottle. In Soya Pal-gyung (8 scenic spots), It was called "Cheongho Magyeong" (blue lake mirror) for its clean and shinning water. The night scene and sunrise viewed from watchtower of International Tourist Exhibition are picturesque. Moreover, the kinds of birds observed reaches as many as 216. An ecosystem park is under construction.
  • The fifth Scenic Spot of Sokcho - Sokcho Beach Jodo
    Situated in between express bus terminal and the entrance to Abayee town, it is called Jodo (birds' island) and is well harmonized with the beach in Soya Pal-gyeong (8 scenic spots), its scenic beauty is well described, calling it "Nonsan Joyang" Thanks to such natural benefits, it's vary attractive as a place for various events, sunrise and walking beach. Surrounded by pine forest, and dazzling sand with the shades under the trees are all popular for the visitors. It opens July 20 for 40 days. As summer is approaching the peak, more and more tourists are coming to join the various events such as summer beach festival and Seorak Triathlon.
  • The Sixth Scenic Spot of Sokcho - Daepo Oeongchi
    Situated on the seashore near the foot of Seoraksan, it's the only place where the Jangseung (a devil post) is seen in Sokcho. A pair of new Jangseung is installed at the entrance to the village at every 3 years. A view of downtown linked with lighthouse and Jodo is very unique, coupled with the waves on the beach. Daepo port seen on a way to Sokcho from Hangyeryeong, running leaving the Yangyang behind, is famous for its red light tower on the breakwater. Among the fishes at Daepo are flatfish and flounder, along with the squids you can taste at nearby restaurant.
  • The Seventh Scenic Spot of Sokcho - Naemulchi Seorak Sunrise Park
    Wuam, Song, Syee-yul in Joseon Dynasty was going to stay a night here on a way to Geojedo(Is.) when he was exiled but due to torrential rainfall he had to stay more days. Since then it was called Mulchi because the village was once submerged. Seorak Sunrise Park situated in between the east sea and Seoraksan has a sculpture park and an open-air stage for traditional art performance. The art sculptures lined up at the park is impressive. The scene of sunrise seen between the sculptures is very unique. 30 works harmonized with the performance gives the people another experience.
  • The Eighth Scenic Spot of Sokcho - Sangdomun Hakmujeong
    Situated in the pine forest near Ssangcheon stream running from Daecheong Peak of Seoraksan, the pavilion was built in 1872 by Oh, Yun-hwan, who was born in this village and committed to studying and teaching the students. It was called Yukmojeong for its hexagonal shape. It's described as Hakmujeong on south, Yeongmoje on north, Injidang on northeast and Gyeonguije on southwest. The comfort in the pine forest is added to the traditional beauty of old Korean house.