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The Koreatown marker in Los Angeles, California.
Hangul 코리아타운 or 한인타운
Hanja 코리아타운 or 韓人타운
Revised Romanization Koriataun or Hanintaun
McCune–Reischauer K'oriat'aun or Hanint'aun

Koreatown (Korean: 코리아타운) is a term to describe a Korean ethnic enclave within a city or metropolitan area. Other terms may be such as Little Seoul or Little Korea.




Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires's 'Barrio Coreano' is in the neighborhood of Flores, specifically in the south of this neighborhood. The primary artery of the district is Carabobo Avenue, which houses various Korean businesses and organizations, including restaurants, beauty salons, A Korean school (Instituto Coreano Argentino) and churches, among others. In recent years, there has been a huge move from the Bajo Flores towards the Avellaneda Avenue. The reason being the increasing theft and insecurity around the slums close to Av. Castanares. What we could call these days, The New Korean Town, has been increasing in size at a faster rate while the shops in Av. Carabobo have been closing. [1] There are over 22,000 Koreans in Argentina, most of them in Buenos Aires, where the Asian population is around 2,5%.[2]


Sydney, New South Wales

Sydney's primary Korea Town is located in the heavily immigrant populated suburban areas of Campsie, Eastwood and Strathfield.[3]. These areas are home to a number of Korean speaking business and retail stores which include Korean restaurants, video stores, hairdressers and supermarkets[4]

Other important Korean commercial areas are located the suburbs of Parramatta and Chatswood which are business districts West and North of the Sydney CBD.[5][6][7][8]. The intersection of Bathurst Street and Pitt Street in Sydney CBD (Central Business District) is also becoming a popular area for Korean commercial activity including restaurants, karaoke bars, supermarkets and hairdressers.

Australia's Korean population is estimated to be around 150,000.[9]

Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne's de facto[10] Koreatown is concentrated around the vicinity of La Trobe Street. The Korean population of Melbourne has grown significantly in recent years in conjunction with a large floating population of South Korean students visa and working holiday visa, As a result numerous Korean owned businesses have appeared to cater to this demand.[11]


Toronto, Ontario

Toronto's primary Koreatown is located on Bloor Street, roughly between Bathurst and Christie Streets; but although many Koreans work there very few actually live in this area. The first Korean store in Toronto (Barton Premium Supermarket or Hangook Shikpoom Bonjom closed October 2004 but moved to its current location, P.A.T. Central Mkt @675 Bloor St W) was situated at 721 Palmerston Avenue just north of Bloor in this area in the early 1970s, eventually leading to more stores and restaurants concentrating in this area. The first Korean restaurant, Korea House, is still located on 666 Bloor Street West.

A secondary concentration may be found on Yonge Street, between Sheppard Avenue East and north of Steeles Avenue East A large Korean supermarket, Galleria Supermarket is located on Yonge and is now developing into a Korean Cultural Centre as well. The success of Galleria has led to a brand new supermarket called H-Mart, located on Yonge St. just south of Major Mackenzie Dr., which opened in December 2007.

It is estimated that there are around 130,000 Koreans living in Toronto. The Korean community continues to have a strong presence in Canada's largest city. There are a large number of Korean students who study in Toronto, thus the frequency of seeing Koreans not only in Koreatowns but everywhere across the city and its suburbs.



The Korean population is mostly concentrated in Patronato. Currently, approximately 3000 Koreans live in Chile. The Korean community is well organized and united. Colonia Coreana organizes several events annually. Among these events are: soccer tournaments, Korean festivals, and the annual Mr. and Ms. Patronato.[12]



There are more than 120,000 Koreans live in Beijing. Prominent areas include Wudaokou (Chinese: 五道口; pinyin: Wǔdàokǒu; Korean: 오도구 Odogu (우따오커우 Uttaokeou)), and Wangjing (Chinese: 望京; pinyin: Wàngjīng, Korean: 망경 Manggyeong (왕징 Wangjing)).

Hong Kong

The Koreatown is located in and around Kimberley Street in Tsim Sha Tsui. There is also a Korean settlement in Lei King Wan, Sai Wan Ho, where the Korean International School in Hong Kong is also located.


100,000 Koreans live in Qingdao.


Shenyang has a large Koreatown known as Xita/Seotap (Chinese: 西塔, Korean: 서탑/西塔) meaning Western Pagoda.


65,000 Koreans live in Shanghai. Longbai in the Minhang district, to the west of the city, has a Korean oriented neighborhood.


A 31,000 M2 Koreatown block is being constructed on north Jakarta Pulomas. Upon its completion, it will be the first artificially-made KoreanTown in the world with 7 blocks and 9 buildings.[13]

Koreans in Indonesia number approximately 40,000, which makes Indonesia the 12th largest country with Koreans living outside of Korea.[14]


During the 1910 to 1945 colonial period, approximately 2.4 million ethnic Koreans emigrated to Japan for economic reasons, though some brought over forcibly during the Second World War to work as laborers. While most departed after the war, still many were forced to remain by the Japanese government, and were joined in the 1950s by a wave of refugees from Jeju Island. Today, Koreans, known as Zainichi Koreans (재일조선인, who on paper retain the nationality of the old Korea) or Zainichi Koreans (재일한국인, who have adopted South Korean nationality), are the largest ethnic minority in Japan, amounting to 620,000 in 2002. Those with North Korean ties are a key source of remittances to North Korea. There is a separate group of more recent migrants from South Korea with strong links to their home country, and there is a considerable cultural gap between these so-called "new-comers" and Zainichi Koreans.


The Korean enclave in the city of Osaka, numbering over 90,000, is by far the largest in Japan, concentrated in the Ikuno Ward, where 25% of the inhabitants are of Korean origin. Tsuruhashi in the Ward is the most famous Koreatown in Japan, and is dominated by Jeju Islanders. Imazato-Shinchi is an area increasingly dominated by recent South Korean "new-comers". The total Korean population in Osaka prefecture amounted to 150,000 in 2002.


According to official statistics in 2002, the Korean population in Tokyo amounted to 80,000, which was the second largest following that of Osaka.

Unlike other Japanese Koreatowns, the Korean-oriented commercial district around Shin-Okubo Station in Shinjuku Ward developed after World War II, and is dominated by "new-comers" - recent immigrants from South Korea who have retained their ethnic and cultural identity, as can be seen from the ubiquitous signs written in hangul. Other immigrants from China, Taiwan, South East Asia and various other nationalities makes this one of the most colourful and multicultural areas in Tokyo.

The area around Mikawashima station on the Jōban Line, to the north of the city, is a Koreatown dominated by Zainichi immigrants from Jeju island.

Also noteworthy is a smaller-scale Zainichi Korean quarter to the southeast of Ueno station, and to the southwest, a community of South Korean "new-comers".


Approximately 6,000 people of South and North Korean nationality live in central Kawasaki. Although most have assimilated, it remains one of the largest concentrations of Korean-Japanese in Eastern Japan.


A small Koreatown has developed in the Gion neighborhood (the Geisha district) of Kyoto. Kyoto prefecture is home to approximately 38,000 ethnic Koreans in 2002.

There are several Korean restaurants, businesses, churches and organizations, in the west of Kyoto city, in the neighborhoods south of Saiin station, on the Hankyu Railway line.


Green Mall in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi is a Koreatown. It is also known as "Little Pusan" partly because of the Kanpu Line, a regular ferry that goes to Pusan, South Korea across the Sea of Japan.



Ampang is an area long known for its large number of Korean expatriates.[15] Koreans in Malaysia have opened restaurants, churches, and grocery stores there, specifically in the area around Ampang Point.[16] Mont Kiara located southwestern of downtown Kuala Lumpur also houses Korean businesses as well.[17]


Mexico City

Mexico City has a small enclave of Korean restaurants, supermarkets, and video rental stores in the Zona Rosa neighborhood, mainly located on Calle Florencia. Most of Mexico City’s Koreans are more recently arrived, the result of South Korea’s economic boom of the ‘60s and ‘70s.


Metro Manila

Many Korean establishments such as restaurants and bars can be found in Makati City's Burgos St. which is regarded as the area's red light district. Korean video stores, groceries, and even spas can be found in the aforementioned locale. Those who frequent these places range from Korean tourists in the Philippines to long time residents.

United Kingdom

London, England

New Malden has probably the largest single expatriate community of South Koreans in Europe.[18] According to the Korean Residents Society, the Korean population in Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is about 3,500 to 4,500, mostly in New Malden, out of a total borough population of 157,900; some sources cite the population as high as 20,000 to 32,000. There is also a growing population in Golders Green, North-West London.

United States

United States

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey, 1.3 million people of full Korean descent were living in the U.S. that year.

Annandale, Virginia

According to the 2000 census, 66,000 Koreans live in Annandale and the surrounding region[19]. The local phone directory, the Giant Directory, lists 929 businesses that cater to Koreans. Koreatown starts at Hummer Road, where Ye Chon (예촌), a Korean restaurant that is open 24/7, from Little River Turnpike and goes for 1.5 miles to Evergreen Lane. This is more than one-third of all Korean Businesses in the Washington Metropolitan Area. These businesses that are located in the urban part of Annandale include electronic stores showing off the latest gadgets from Asia, plush lawyer and realty offices, incense-filled medicine shops, pulsing karaoke bars and dance clubs and 39 Korean restaurants. Some examples of Korean restaurants are Seoul Soon Dae (서울 순대), Han Gang Restaurant, Jin Sung Garden (진성가든), Man Po Myun Oak Restaurant (만포 면옥), Nulbom Restaurant (늘봄분식), Il Mee Buffett (일미 식당), Gom Ba Woo (곰바우), Gool daejee Korean BBQ (꿀 돼지), Todam Village Restaurant (토담골), Pojangmahjah (포장마차), Nak-won Restaurant, Choong Hwa Won‎ (중화원), Jangwon‎, Cafe Tu Ah‎, Annangol (아난골 식당), Kaboja Restaurant (가보자 식당), Sorak Garden Restaurant (설악 가든), Yang Pyung Seoul (Nineteen Hall Garden)[19][20]

Atlanta, Georgia

Most of Georgia's 83,000 Koreans are located in the greater Atlanta area. Although there are few Korean businesses within the city of Atlanta proper, a very large concentration of Korean shops can be found in various areas of suburban Gwinnett County, particularly in the cities of Duluth, Suwanee, and Norcross. The suburban sprawl of metro Atlanta makes it difficult to denote any one particular area as "Koreatown". The major shopping streets are Buford Highway and Pleasant Hill Road, along with several smaller intersecting roads. These are home to many Korean restaurants, shops, salons, banks and spas. Most Korean shops and places of entertainment are located within strip malls, usually no more than 2 stories in height. A large majority of the shop signs are written in both Korean and English. [21]

Bergen County, New Jersey

One of the largest immigrant groups in Bergen County is the Korean American community, which is concentrated along the Hudson River - especially in the area near the George Washington Bridge - and represents over half of the state's entire Korean population.[22][23] Palisades Park boasts the highest percentage (36.38%) and total number (6,065) of Koreans among all municipalities in the state,[24][25] while neighboring Fort Lee has the second largest cluster (5,978) and third highest proportion (17.18%, trailing Leonia's 17.24%).[25][26] Eight of the nation's top ten municipalities by percentage of Korean population are located in Bergen County, including Palisades Park, Leonia, Fort Lee, Ridgefield, Closter, Norwood, Edgewater, and Englewood Cliffs.[25] Overall, sixteen of the top twenty communities on that list are located in Bergen; virtually all are in the eastern third of the county near the Hudson River.

In addition, the commercial districts of several communities — including Palisades Park, Fort Lee, Cliffside Park, Ridgefield, Leonia, and to a lesser extent Englewood Cliffs, Edgewater, and Fairview — collectively function as a sprawling suburban Koreatown for northern New Jersey, drawing shoppers from throughout the region.[27] There is also an entrenched Korean population in the Northern Valley, especially in Tenafly, Cresskill, Demarest, Closter, Norwood, and Old Tappan, as well as in several inland boroughs, including Paramus, Rutherford, and Little Ferry.[25]

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood has been referred to as Chicago's "Koreatown" since the 1980s. The majority of Korean shops in Albany Park can be found along Lawrence Avenue (4800 North) between Kedzie (3200 West) and Pulaski (4000 West). This particular section of Lawrence Avenue has been officially designated by the city of Chicago as "Seoul Drive" because of the multitude of Korean-owned enterprises on the street. Although many of the Korean Americans in the neighborhood have been moving to the north suburbs in recent years, it still retains its Korean flavor. Every year there is a Korean festival, and the neighborhood is home to a Korean television station (WOCH-CA Ch. 41) and radio station (1330 AM) as well as two Korean-language newspapers. There are still many Korean businesses interspersed among the newer Mexican bakeries and Middle Eastern grocery stores. Approximately 45% of the businesses on this particular stretch of Lawrence Avenue are owned by Korean-Americans.[28]

Dallas, Texas

A sizable Koreatown can be found in Dallas, though this mostly commercial area of the city has not been officially designated as such.[29] Instead, large signs situated at the intersection of Harry Hines Boulevard and Royal Lane proclaim the area as the "Asian Trade District." The signs also feature depictions of a red and blue "taeguk," a symbol that is prominently featured on the national flag of South Korea, thereby acknowledging the specifically Korean affiliation of the district. This area in the northwest part of the city is characterized by a large number of Korean-owned businesses serving the city's sizable Korean American community. Although, Korean business is undoubtedly the most dominant in the area, there are isolated Chinese and Vietnamese businesses as well.

Los Angeles, California

The Greater Los Angeles Area is home to the largest number of ethnic Koreans outside of Asia. Koreatown is an officially recognized district of the city and contains probably the heaviest concentration of Korean residents and businesses. However, when the term "Koreatown" is used it usually refers to a larger area that includes the adjacent neighborhoods of Wilshire Center, Harvard Heights and Pico Heights. Koreans began to move into the area in the late 1960s after changes in the US Immigration laws, establishing numerous businesses although never outnumbering Latino residents.

New York City

The area around Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) and 32nd Street in Manhattan has emerged as an enclave of Korean restaurants and businesses. It is this neighborhood, near Herald Square, which is usually named as New York's Koreatown. Although commonly referred to as Koreatown, "K-Town" by locals, the proper nomenclature for the Sixth Avenue/32nd Street area is "Korea Way," as evidenced by the street signs there. However, the main residential cluster is located in the borough of Queens.

Northern Boulevard in Queens is an extended Koreatown strip that stretches east from Flushing through Bayside and into Great Neck in Nassau County. Union Street between 35th and 41st Avenues in Flushing is the central business district of this Koreatown.

The neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Woodside, and Sunnyside have significant Korean populations.

There is also a block of Korean stores and restaurants on E. 204th St in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx.

Oakland, California

A significant Korean community, the largest in the Bay Area is centered on Telegraph Avenue between 20th and 35th Streets between Downtown Oakland and the Temescal district lined with some 150 Korean-owned businesses and a Buddhist temple. This segment of Telegraph Avenue is lined with bright banners proclaiming the district as "Koreatown-Northgate" with the slogan "Oakland's got Seoul." Before 1991, the area was characterized by homelessness and crime and a majority African-American population and was the Northgate district. There has been criticism with the non-Korean residents of the city officially naming the district Koreatown who actually form the majority; mostly African Americans. This is has led to tensions between the Korean business and landowners with the African American population who form the majority of residents in the district though a number of Koreans have begun settling into the area.[30]

Seattle-Tacoma, Washington

There is a very high concentration of Korean businesses along State Route 99 in Tacoma as well as in the neighboring suburbs of Lakewood and Federal Way. The most recognizable district of Korean businesses exists in Tacoma between South 86th st and 94th st with most businesses being Korean-run and servicing Korean-Americans. In 1990, business owners debated a new name for the area along South Tacoma Way between South 84th and 94th street and although it is displayed in English as the "International Business District", it is also referenced as "Koreatown" in Korean alongside it's English designation. [31] [32]


Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the largest city in the Canary Islands, Spain, is currently home to over 1500 Koreans (over 7000 at its peak), and has the largest concentration of Koreans in Spain. As most Koreans originally came to work in the fishing industry, most Korean companies and businesses are located around the port area of Puerto de La Luz. However, most Koreans live in the more affluent neighborhoods of Avenida Mesa y Lopez, Madera y Corcho, Siete Palmas and Avenida Maritima.

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ 재외동포현황/Current Status of Overseas Compatriots, South Korea: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2009,, retrieved 2009-05-21 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^,20080913-135241,uk.html
  14. ^ - Berita seputar
  15. ^
  16. ^ Rhee, Hyun Ah (2006-12-18). "Koreans find green pastures in Ampang". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Profile of General Demographic Characteristics for Bergen County, New Jersey: 2000. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 17, 2007.
  23. ^ Profile of General Demographic Characteristics for New Jersey: 2000. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 17, 2007
  24. ^ Profile of General Demographic Characteristics for Palisades Park borough, New Jersey: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 17, 2007.
  25. ^ a b c d Korean Ancestry by City. Retrieved on March 17, 2007.
  26. ^ Profile of General Demographic Characteristics for Fort Lee borough, New Jersey: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 17, 2007.
  27. ^ Korean store chains move to Palisades Park, The Record (Bergen County), March 4, 2007
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ , Oakland: East Bay Express, 2009,, retrieved 2009-05-06 
  31. ^
  32. ^

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