Today, we’ll be taking a tour of Teddy Bear Museum, located in Jeju’s Jungmun Tourist Complex.
Situated in the southern part of Jeju, not far from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and Sori Island Museum, Teddy Bear Museum is popular with families and also attracts tourists from around the world, particularly from the neighboring country of China.
▲ Entrance to Teddy Bear Museum
From the appearance of the museum’s entrance alone, it would be difficult to conceive the full scale of the museum. While the entrance is at ground level, it in fact forms the top floor of the museum, from which the rest of the museum below can be seen.
The Teddy bear is named after the 26th President of the United States of America Theodore Roosevelt. In 1902, Roosevelt was out bear-hunting one day in Mississippi, when, having failed to capture a bear, he was invited to shoot an American Black Bear that had been rounded up by his attendants and tied to a tree. Roosevelt declined, claiming it would be unsportsmanlike, and subsequently the story served as the subject for a political cartoon that inspired Morris Michtom, a Russian Jewish immigrant to create a stuffed bear cub that he would call “Teddy’s bear.”
▲ The hunting incident involving Roosevelt that inspired the Teddy bear’s creation
The museum’s trim and well-ordered interior is organized around three principal themes.
The first is the History exhibit, where historical events, large and small, are chronicled using Teddy bears as models.
▲ A family touring the museum
▲ Teddy bears depicting the scene on the Titanic
▲ A Teddy bear posing as Charlie Chaplin
▲ The First World War
▲ Disney World
▲ The Apollo 11 lunar landing
▲ China’s terra-cotta soldiers
The second exhibit is called The Art, where the figures of seminal works of art such as the Mona Lisa, the Thinker, and the Kiss, are recast in Teddy bear form.
▲ The Thinker
Leading global consumer brands and popular television shows also find representation in the exhibit, while other Teddy bears, with Jeju- and Korea-related motifs, lend a homegrown flavor to the museum.
▲ Swarovski Teddy Bear
▲ Korean folk scene
▲ Historic figures in Eastern history
▲ Jeju’s famous female divers (haenyeo)
▲ Teddy bears featured in the drama “Goong”
▲ Various Teddy bear-themed promotions
▲ Teddy Bear Museums (other locations)
In addition to the museum in Jeju, Teddy Bear Museums can be found in Seoul on Nam-san, Seorak in Gangwon-do, Gyeongju, and Hawaii.
▲ Souvenir store
▲ Save the Panda campaign
In as much as it is a museum centered on the Teddy bear, Teddy Bear Museum very much concerns itself with its real-life animal counterpart.
Next is Teddy’s Forest, where one can take a stroll along a walkway, enjoying the outdoors while viewing the different Teddy bear depictions.
On the day this visit took place, the pathway was a bit slippery due to rain, but Teddy’s Forest should be a hit with kids in any season thanks to its charming and whimsical qualities.
Visitors may be particularly interested in taking a photo with the life-size bronze statutes.
▲ Pathway through Teddy’s Forest
▲ Lotteria, a popular fast-food restaurant
Teddy Bear Museum also offers a rest area where visitors can shop for gifts at the souvenir store or grab a bite to eat at Lotteria, a nationwide fast-food chain.
▲ Price of admission
This concludes our tour of Teddy Bear Museum! With all that it has to offer, Teddy Bear Museum promises to be a fun and memorable visit for adults and children alike.
Visitors to Jungmun should be sure to make a stop at Teddy Bear Museum.
Directions: At the airport, take Bus 600 to Jungmun, Yeomiji Entrance.
From the bus stop, walk straight south for 400 meters.
Address: Saekdal-dong 2889, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea