Kkachisan, or Magpie Mountain, station sits at the tail end of the two line’s western spur, where it intersects with the five, and opens onto a pretty ordinary neighborhood. Gangseo-ro (강서로), the area’s main drag, is home to your typical collection of shops and restaurants that you could find in just about any middle-class district of Seoul.
The area’s most distinguishing feature is the eponymous Kkachisan (까치산), on the neighborhood’s west end, reached from either Exit 1 or 4. While calling it a mountain would be extremely generous, the hill is big enough to necessitate the Hwagok Tunnel (화곡터널) for Gangseo-ro to pass through. A couple apartment complexes sit on top of the hill, as does a small park. Concrete walkways slope up either side of the tunnel and a set of wooden stairs begins where they meet. The stairs will take you to the very small park, which consists of some trees, a couple pieces of exercise equipment, and a gazebo where a young couple and a few seniors were enjoying the unseasonably warm day. The park offers great views east over Gangseo- and Yangcheon-gus. To the east you can make out the towers of the Hyperion apartments in Omokgyo and spot planes coming in to land at Gimpo Airport.
Kkachisan also is the site of a pretty decent neighborhood market, of course called Kkachisan Market (까치산시장), near Exit 1. A mostly covered market, it has two main entrances from Gangseo-ro, but the main aisle is found on the street running parallel. All the usual is there: fresh fish, tteok, vegetables, meat, dried squid, fruit, and more. We even got a free sample of the latter when one of the vendors tossed us a couple free, incredibly sweet mandarin oranges in exchange for Liz taking a couple shots of him.
The market has eating options too, and we passed one tiny kalguksu joint that looked particularly good. The shop ran out of a small storefront, and in front of that a cook worked away preparing the noodles, four big metal vats before him.
Leaving the market we wandered through the back streets east of the station for a while, trying to find a temple that we had noticed a sign near the market entrance pointing to, but either we couldn’t find it or it was so nondescript that we passed right by.
The neighborhood to the west of the station didn’t turn up anything of particular note. Several love motels with names like the Hillside and Waikiki line a short section of Gomdallae-gil (곰달래길) here. The most curious thing we spotted, however, were a couple of convenience stores bearing the slogan ‘In the line of duty.’ Maybe they’d worked in Baltimore before.
Exit 1 or 4
Kkachisan Market (까치산시장)