ID:18944 Section: Place

Updated:Monday 13th October 2014

Incheon Definition

(Wikipedia) - Incheon
This article''s tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia''s guide to writing better articles for suggestions. (August 2014)
This article is about the city. For the airport, see Incheon International Airport. For other uses, see Incheon (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 37°29′N 126°38′E / 37.483°N 126.633°E / 37.483; 126.633

Incheon 인천시 Incheon Metropolitan City Korean name transcription(s)  • Hangul  • Hanja  • Revised Romanization  • McCune-Reischauer Country Region Founded Subdivisions Government  • Type  • Mayor  • Council Chairman Area  • Total Population (March, 2013)  • Total  • Density Time zone Dialect Flower Tree Bird Website
Metropolitan City
Incheon Gwang-yeoksi
Inch''ŏn Kwang''yŏkshi
Clockwise from top: Incheon Main Hall, Incheon Football Stadium, Nam District, Incheon Memorial, Incheon International Airport
Flag Seal of Incheon
Map of South Korea with Incheon highlighted
Coordinates: 37°29′N 126°38′E / 37.483°N 126.633°E / 37.483; 126.633
South Korea
Seoul National Capital Area
1105 as Gyeongwon
  • 8 districts ("gu")
  • Bupyeong-gu (부평구; 富平區)
  • Gyeyang-gu (계양구; 桂陽區)
  • Jung-gu (중구; 中區)
  • Nam-gu (남구; 南區)
  • Namdong-gu (남동구; 南洞區)
  • Seo-gu (서구; 西區)
  • Yeonsu-gu (연수구; 延壽區)
  • 2 counties ("gun")
  • Ganghwa-gun (강화군; 江華郡)
  • Ongjin-gun (옹진군; 甕津郡)
Metropolitan City
Yoo jung-bok
Ryu Su-yong
1,029.43 km2 (397.47 sq mi)
2,800/km2 (7,300/sq mi)
Korea Standard Time (UTC+9)
Tulip tree
Crane (English)

Incheon (Korean: 인천, 仁川 Korean pronunciation: ) literally ''kind river'', formerly romanized as Inchon, and officially the Incheon Metropolitan City, is a city located in northwestern South Korea, bordering Seoul and Gyeonggi to the east. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.9 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan. While people have inhabited the area since the New Stone Age, the city''s growth was assured in modern times with the development of its port due to its natural advantages as a coastal city and its proximity to the South Korean capital. It is part of the Seoul Capital Area, along with Seoul itself and Gyeonggi Province, forming the world''s third largest metropolitan area by population.

Incheon has since led the economic development of Korea by opening its port to the outside world, ushering in the modernization of Korea as a center of industrialization. In 2003, the city was designated as Korea’s first free economic zone. Since then, large local companies and global enterprises have increasingly invested in the Incheon Free Economic Zone, including Samsung which chose Songdo International City as its new investment destination for its bio industry.

As an international city, Incheon has held numerous large scale international conferences, such as the Incheon Global Fair & Festival in 2009. The 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 will also be held in Incheon from September 19, 2014. Incheon has established itself as a major transportation hub in northeast Asia with the world renowned Incheon International Airport and Incheon Port. The city is also home to the Green Climate Fund, an international organization addressing environmental issues.

  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Major events
  • 2 Education
    • 2.1 Higher education
  • 3 Climate
  • 4 Transport
  • 5 Free Economic Zone
    • 5.1 New Songdo City
    • 5.2 Yeongjong Island
    • 5.3 Cheongna
  • 6 Administrative divisions
  • 7 Sports
  • 8 Points of interest
  • 9 People from Incheon
  • 10 International relations
    • 10.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
  • 11 See also
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links


The first historical record of the Incheon area dates back to 475 AD. during the reign of King Jangsu of Goguryeo by the name of "Michuhol," which is supposed to be located on today''s Munhak Hill (문학산). The area underwent several name changes with successive kingdoms and dynasties. In Goryeo era, Incheon was called Gyeongwon (경원) or Inju (인주). The current name was established in 1413. Later, Incheon County became Incheon Metropolitan Prefecture (dohobu, 도호부). Old Incheon consisted of today''s southern Incheon (i.e. Jung-gu, Dong-gu, Nam-gu, Yeonsu-gu, and Namdong-gu) and northern part of Siheung City. The city centre was Gwangyo-dong, where the prefecture office (도호부청사) and the local academy (hyanggyo, 향교) were located. The "original" two remaining buildings of the Incheon prefecture office are located in Munhak Elementary School, while the newly built (in 2001) prefecture office buildings are right across from Munhak Baseball Stadium.

However, the name Jemulpo was not widely used until the opening of the port in 1883. After the opening of the Incheon port, the city centre moved from Gwangyo to Jemulpo. Today, either Jemulpo or Gwangyo-dong is considered "Deep Incheon"(원인천). It was renamed as "Jinsen" during Japanese rule in Korean peninsula.

Incheon was the site of the Battle of Chemulpo Bay, where the first shots of the Russo-Japanese War were fired. In 1914, the Japanese colonial government merged outer parts of old Incheon (including the former centre of Gwangyo) with Bupyeong County, forming Bucheon County. Through 1936 and 1940, some part of Bucheon County was recombined into Incheon City, by which some part of "old" Bupyeong was annexed into Incheon.

On September 15, 1950, during the Korean War, Incheon was the site of the Battle of Inchon, when United States troops landed to relieve pressure on the Pusan Perimeter and to launch a United Nations offensive northward. The result was a decisive UN victory. The USS Inchon was named after the tide-turning battle that ensued.

Incheon was originally part of Gyeonggi Province, but was granted Directly Governed (now Metropolitan) City status on July 1, 1981; the city officially separated from the province. In 1989, neighbouring islands and Gyeyang township of Gimpo County were ceded to Incheon and in 1995 Geomdan township of Gimpo Country was annexed to Incheon Metropolitan City.

Incheon was known as Inchon prior to South Korea''s adoption of a new Romanization system in 2000.

Major events

The city was the site of the Battle of Chemulpo Bay, where the first shots of the Russo-Japanese War were fired and the site of the Battle of Inchon during the Korean War.

Incheon also hosted a series of major international events. The Global Fair & Festival 2009 Incheon, Korea was held in the Songdo District in August 2009. It was open from August 7 to October 25 for a period of 80 days. It was a comprehensive international event with global institutions and corporations as participants.Various musicians and artists performed during the event.

The city hosted a meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers in February 2010. Incheon was the site of the third Global Model United Nations Conference, held from 10th to the 14th of August 2011.

It first hosted the Incheon Women Artists'' Biennale in 2004 which expanded into welcoming international artists in its subsequent 2007, 2009 and 2011.

Incheon has also won the bid to host the Asian Games in 2014.


On February 27, 2007, Incheon declared itself an "English City," and inaugurated the "Incheon Free English Zone" program. The goal of the program is to make Incheon as much an English speaking city as Hong Kong and Singapore are. This is for the ultimate purpose of establishing Incheon as a commercial and business hub of northeast Asia (see Free Economic Zone below). The official slogan of the program is "Smile with English."

Higher education

Incheon is home to several colleges and universities:

  • Gyeongin National University of Education Incheon campus
  • Gachon University Medical·Ganghwa campus
  • Gyeongin Women''s College
  • Inha Technical College
  • Inha University
  • Incheon Catholic University
  • Incheon City College
  • Incheon National University
  • Jaineung College
  • SUNY South Korea
  • Anyang University Ganghwa campus
  • Yonsei University International campus
  • Korea Polytechnics Ⅱ
  • Seongsan Hyo University
  • Juan International University
See also: Category:Universities and colleges in Incheon Climate

Incheon has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa). Incheon''s climate is about average compared to the rest of Korea, with 8 locations being cooler and 10 locations being warmer, and with 9 locations being wetter and 9 locations being drier.

Incheon experiences each of its four seasons, distinctly feeling the rise and fall of temperature and humidity. The temperature however, never rises to an extreme, and the climate of the city is essentially mild. Incheon is swept by the seasonal winds as the northwesterly winds strike the city in the winter and the summer in Incheon is affected by gusts of the warm southwesterly winds.

Climate data for Incheon (1981–2010) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high °C (°F) Daily mean °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Precipitation mm (inches) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)  % humidity Mean monthly sunshine hours
1.7 (35.1) 4.4 (39.9) 9.6 (49.3) 16.1 (61) 21.3 (70.3) 25.4 (77.7) 27.6 (81.7) 29.0 (84.2) 25.5 (77.9) 19.7 (67.5) 11.8 (53.2) 4.7 (40.5) 16.4 (61.5)
−2.1 (28.2) 0.3 (32.5) 5.1 (41.2) 11.3 (52.3) 16.4 (61.5) 20.9 (69.6) 24.0 (75.2) 25.2 (77.4) 21.1 (70) 15.0 (59) 7.6 (45.7) 0.9 (33.6) 12.1 (53.8)
−5.4 (22.3) −3.1 (26.4) 1.7 (35.1) 7.6 (45.7) 12.8 (55) 17.6 (63.7) 21.5 (70.7) 22.4 (72.3) 17.5 (63.5) 11.0 (51.8) 3.9 (39) −2.6 (27.3) 8.7 (47.7)
20.6 (0.811) 20.8 (0.819) 40.5 (1.594) 57.7 (2.272) 100.3 (3.949) 112.0 (4.409) 319.6 (12.583) 285.8 (11.252) 153.5 (6.043) 53.4 (2.102) 51.0 (2.008) 19.3 (0.76) 1,234.4 (48.598)
6.6 5.3 6.7 7.3 8.7 9.7 14.9 12.5 8.2 6.2 8.5 7.3 101.9
61.5 61.8 63.4 64.1 70.3 74.8 82.2 79.1 73.1 67.3 63.9 62.0 68.6
178.0 181.5 204.9 219.4 231.4 203.4 156.8 191.0 197.6 211.2 168.6 171.0 2,314.9
Source: Korea Meteorological Administration

Incheon is a major domestic and international transport hub for Korea.

Inside Incheon International AirportAir

Incheon International Airport, a regional air hub, is South Korea''s primary international airport.

There were a total of 160,843 flights (157,134 international, 3,709 domestic) to and from Incheon International Airport in 2005, an average of 441 flights (431 international, 10 domestic) daily. 59.7% of the flights were serviced by Korea’s two national carriers, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, with foreign carriers servicing the remaining 40.3%, which breaks down as follows: China 45,125 flights {28.1% of total}, Japan ,352 {20.1%}, Southeast Asia 30,567 {19%}, Americas 27,916 {17.4%}, Europe 11,082 {6.9%}, Domestic 3,709 {2.3%}, Oceania 2,811 {1.7%}, others 7,281 {4.5%}.

Also featured in the Korean drama series, "Air City."


Incheon''s sea port is the second largest port in Korea after Busan''s sea port.

The International Passenger Terminal located at the port offers ferries to five cities in China: Dalian, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dandong, and Weihai. There are also ferries to Incheon''s outlying islands as well as Baengnyeong Island inside of the Northern Limit Line.


Incheon Bus Terminal, located at its eponymous subway stop, offers express bus transportation to all parts of Korea. Many city bus lines offer transportation within city limits as well as to the neighboring cities of Bucheon, Gimpo, Seoul, and Siheung.

Many BRT lines offer transportation between Seoul and Incheon.

TrainSongdo IBD

Local service to Guro, Seoul, Cheongnyangni, Uijeongbu and Soyosan is offered by Seoul''s subway Line 1. The line has 11 stations within Incheon and connects to the Incheon Subway at Bupyeong station.

Rapid service on the same line to Yongsan Station in Seoul depart from Dongincheon station and stops at major stations.

The Airport Express (AREX) line runs from Incheon International Airport to Seoul Station via Gimpo International Airport. The Incheon-Gimpo section was opened in March 2007 and was extended to Seoul station in December 2010. Passengers can choose a high-speed service stopping only at Incheon airport and Seoul, which takes 43 minutes but departs only every half-hour; or the all-station service which takes 53 minutes but leaves every six minutes.

Subway Main article: Incheon Subway

The Incheon Subway has a single subway line serving the city. It connects to the Seoul Metropolitan Subway system at Bupyeong station, and AREX line at Gyeyang station. The line has 28 stations on 29.4 kilometres (18.3 miles) of track. The Incheon subway is operated by the Incheon Rapid Transit Corporation (IRTC).

Planned extensions and additions: IRTC has a plan to construct a second line, Line 2. It will extend from Oryu, Seo-gu to Incheon Grand Park, and will have 27 stations on 29.2 km (18.1 miles) of track. Line 2 is under construction from June 26, 2009 to 2014.

Korail is constructing a new subway line from Incheon station to Suwon station by 2013. It will have 10 stations within Incheon.

SMRT (one of three operating companies of Seoul Metropolitan Subway) has extended Seoul Metropolitan Subway Line 7 to Bupyeong-gu office by 2011 and provided transfers to the Incheon Subway system. It has 3 stations within Incheon.

Free Economic ZoneIncheon Free Economic Zone

The Incheon Free Economic Zone consists of the three regions of Songdo, Cheongna, and the island of Yeongjong, and has a total area of 51,739 acres (20,938 ha). The goal of IFEZ is to transform these three areas into hubs for logistics, international business, leisure, and tourism for the Northeast Asian region. The term ''Free Economic Zone'' applies to the development in these three areas with the aim of improving the business environment for foreign-invested enterprises and the living conditions for foreigners. The zone is a specially designated area to create the most favorable business and living environment where foreign nationals can live and invest freely and conveniently. Incheon''s Free Economic Zone, the first in Korea, was officially designated by the Korean government in August 2003. IFEZ is planned to be a self-contained living and business district featuring air and sea transportation, a logistics complex, an international business center, financial services, residences, schools and hospitals, and shopping and entertainment centres.

New Songdo City

Songdo International City began development in 1994 and is being built on reclaimed land. It is designated to become a center of diverse international businesses, a hub for international trade, an area for knowledge-based technologies, and a place for eco-friendly urban living. Construction is due to be completed in 2020.

  • Development size: 13,162 acres (53.26 km2)
  • Planned population: 252,000 persons
  • Construction duration: 1994~2020
Yeongjong Island

As of 2012, Yeongjong International City’s 34,183 acres (13,833 ha) centering on the Incheon International Airport is being developed as an eco-friendly airport city scheduled to be completed by 2020. Paradise Co, a South Korean casino operator, said in October 2013 that it will build the country’s largest casino on Yeongjong Island.


The Cheongna district, on the mainland adjacent Yeongjong Island, will focus on entertainment and will feature a world class theme park. It will also be a residential area with sports facilities, a floriculture complex, and a business area specially designed for international finance.

  • Development Size: 4,394 acres (1,778 ha)
  • Planned population: 90,000 persons
  • Duration: 2004~2008
Administrative divisions Main article: List of districts and counties of IncheonAdministrative divisions of Incheon

Incheon is divided into 8 districts (gu) and 2 counties (gun).

  • Bupyeong District (부평구; 富平區)
  • Dong District (동구; 東區)
  • Gyeyang District (계양구; 桂陽區)
  • Jung District (중구; 中區)
  • Nam District (남구; 南區)
  • Namdong District (남동구; 南洞區)
  • Seo District (서구; 西區)
  • Yeonsu District (연수구; 延壽區)
  • Ganghwa County (강화군; 江華郡)
  • Ongjin County (옹진군; 甕津郡)
    • The northwestern islands of Baengnyeong Island, Yeonpyeong Island, Daecheong Island, and the much smaller Socheong Island are part of Ongjin County.
SportsIncheon Asiad Main Stadium, main stadium of 2014 Asian Games

Incheon is home to the following professional and semi professional sports teams:

Football (Soccer) The K-League team Incheon United FC. The Incheon team was known to have a popular rivalry against former Bucheon SK(now Jeju United), due to the teams'' close geographical relationship.

The WK-League team Hyundai Steel Red Angels.

Baseball The KBO team SK Wyverns BC. The first Incheon-based pro-baseball team was Sammi(one of major steel companies in 1980s) Superstars.

Basketball The KBL team Incheon ET Land Elephants.

Volleyball The V-League teams Incheon Korean Air Jumbos and Incheon Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders.

Munhak Sports Complex The Munahk Sports Complex houses both a football(soccer) stadium and a baseball stadium. The football(soccer) stadium was Incheon''s venue for the 2002 Football World Cup, and is also the home venue for Incheon United. The baseball stadium is the home venue for the SK Wyverns.

On April 19, 2007, Incheon was selected as the host city for the 2014 Asian Games, beating out New Delhi.

Yeonhui Cricket Ground Yeonhui Cricket Ground is a newly built cricket stadium in Incheon. The 2014 Asian Games will feature cricket for both the men''s and the women''s event and this ground will be used for the scheduled cricket matches to be played in the games. It has been reported that the crowd capacity of this ground will be 2,353. This first cricket stadium in South Korea.

Incheon Football Stadium (Sungui Arena) Incheon Football Stadium is the first football-only stadium. It was built in 2012, Incheon United is using this stadium as their home since opening. It''s capacity is about 20,300.

Points of interest

Bupyeong Station is where the Seoul Subway Line 1 and Incheon subway line intersect. There is a large under ground shopping center there mostly selling trendy women''s clothing and cell phones. Above ground, there are many restaurants, additional shops, and a Lotte Mart.

A number of Korea''s western islands, including Ganghwa Island, Yeongjong Island, and Baengnyeong Island are also administered by Incheon. Baengnyeong Island is South Korea''s westernmost point.

Jayu (Freedom) Park is a park near the city''s port. The statue of General Douglas MacArthur, as well as a memorial to the centennial anniversary of U.S. and Korea relations is located there.

Chinatown is Korea''s only official Chinatown, located across from Incheon Station near Jayu Park.

Incheon Bus Terminal refers to an area surrounding the city''s bus terminal. There is also a performance venue and a subway station. Within this area of Guwol-dong is Rodeo Street, a busy central square packed with restaurants and department stores.

Wolmido is the location of Green Beach, one of the landing sites for MacArthur''s invasion force. It is now a local tourist attraction with a boardwalk, an amusement park and many raw fish restaurants. Ferries run from Wolmido to Yeongjongdo and Jakyakdo.

Jakyakdo is a tiny island located in the harbor close between Wolmido and Yeongjongdo. There are many walkways and picnic spots, a restaurant, and seasonal rental rooms.

Incheon Landing Operation Memorial Hall is a plaza and small museum dedicated to the Incheon Landing. Weapons and artifacts from the war and operation are displayed.

Incheon Dohobu Cheongsa is the old government complex for Incheon. Located near Munhak Stadium, it has existed since at least the reign of King Sejong, about 1424 A.D.

Ara Canal is a waterway connecting the Han River and the Yellow Sea. Along the canal is a park and a bike path that is increasingly becoming popular with the locals.

Incheon''s government has many plans for restoring Incheon''s old town.

  • Monument to 100 years of friendship between Korea and the USA in Jayu Park

  • The statue of MacArthur at Jayu Park

  • A walkway in Jayu Park

  • The only official Chinatown in South Korea

  • Port of Incheon

  • Incheon Bridge

  • The tiny island of Jakyakdo

People from Incheon
  • Hapkido Grand Master Bong Soo Han
  • Myung Jae Nam
  • Ryeowook, Super Junior
  • Hyoyeon, Girls'' Generation
  • Choi Minho, Shinee
  • Kim Gu-ra
  • Kim Nam-Il, footballer
  • Cho Yong-Hyung, football defender
  • Yoon Shi-yoon, actor
  • Shin Ji, Koyote
  • Kang Hye-jung, actress
  • Kim Eun-Jung, footballer
  • Lee Sung-Hyun, kickboxer
  • Bang Yong-guk, B.A.P
  • Ku Hye-sun, actress
  • Hyolyn, Sistar
  • Roh Ji-hoon, singer under Cube Entertainment
  • Ryu Hyun-jin, Major League Baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers
International relations See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in South Korea Twin towns – Sister cities

Incheon is twinned with:

  • Burbank, United States (1961)
  • Philadelphia, United States (1983)
  • Anchorage, United States (1986)
  • Kitakyushu, Japan (1988)
  • Tianjin, China (1993)
  • Hai Phong, Vietnam (1997)
  • Panama City, Panama (2000)
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2009)
  • Yekaterinburg, Russia (2009)
  • Banten Province, Indonesia (2009)
  • Kobe, Japan (2010)
  • Veneto, Italy (2010)
  • Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2011)
  • Vladivostok, Russia (2012)

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