About a week ago I decided to hike up Achasan. The info I had said it was a short hike, which many people do wearing casual clothes. This led me to believe it would be "easy" but I was completely mistaken. Or I'm just terribly out of shape.
At any rate, I soon learned that there is nothing "casual" about hiking in Korea. Everybody was sporting full gear, down to hiking poles. Well, one guy didn't have a hiking pole so he improvised with an upside-down 5-iron.
To get to Achasan, you get off the subway at the Achasan station and go out exit 2. Walk down the street and take a left at the first intersection you see. The road will be skinny and you'll probably think "this can't be it" but it is.
Keep walking until you hit the end of the road:
I should trade in all my North Face gear for stuff that more accurately describes what I look like after half a shot of soju.
When you see this store, turn right. Walk up and up a hill. You'll pass a temple on the left side of the street. Keep walking on the main road - if you turn onto the little side street near the temple and attempt to hike up Achasan by scrambling through the grass you will most likely bewilder the people in the nearby apartment building who are hanging their laundry out to dry.
Shortly after you pass the temple, you'll see the trail to go up to the peak. The first part is wooden stairs. Enjoy these while they last. Next is a bunch of rocks.
Partway up to the top is this temple-like building.
If you want to go up to the platform, you have to take off your shoes:
There were lots of people picnicking up there. There's even books you can read while you are stretching your legs:
And as you keep climbing to the top, the views are not bad:
Unfortunately, I was concentrating too hard on climbing down the crumbly path that I somehow went the wrong way. Because all of a sudden, I saw this temple, which was definitely not on the path I took to go up:
Which then meant that I had the potential to get really lost on the way back to the subway station. Luckily I inherited my dad's sense of direction and not my mom's and I walked down a tiny street (crossing my fingers) and made it back to the subway station.