Hello! These days, Seoul has been treating me well with its nice weather, green trees, and abundance of aesthetic cafes. The semester is almost coming to a close but – in today’s mini episode – I will be covering my experiences visiting K-pop idol birthday cafes in South Korea!
Planning and Coordination
So, when I first came to Korea, I immediately started seeing birthday cafes for various idols open around me. My first thought was “How can I find out where all of these events are?”
The answer to that = TWITTER.
I quickly looked up on twitter an idol’s name with “생일카페” next to it in a hashtag and pressed “search”. My whole world was rocked (and for the better). Over 50+ tweets appeared for upcoming birthday cafe events celebrating this idol.
Usually, at least a month before or the month of that certain idol’s birthday, someone on twitter who is a part of their fan club will make a cute poster advertising a birthday cafe event (along with the date, time, location, and different special drinks or gifts that will be provided).
With this information, I went on my Naver Maps app and plotted out the distance of where each cafe event was (normally, most of them are held in Hongdae) so that I could plan for transportation time and distances. This was the start to my idol-birthday-cafe-hopping days. It is a whole event for me and I love it 🙂
Chanyeol’s Birthday Cafes
If you didn’t know, I am a huge fan of the group EXO. My ultimate bias is Park Chanyeol (찬열씨, 이것은 보시면 나랑 결혼해주세용 ㅋㅋ).
Anyways, during the month of November last year I made it my mission to visit all of his birthday cafes and events. Since he is currently fulfilling his mandatory military service time, he has been enlisted in the Korean military and not able to attend any EXO related events with the other members. However! Last November, he starred in a military musical called ‘Meissa’s Song‘ (메이사의 노래) near Olympic Park and I went to see it on the day of his birthday :)))
The day after his birthday, there were other cafe events being held around the park and in Hongdae. From 12pm to 6pm, I methodically went from cafe to cafe. One of these birthday cafes was Chanyeol’s own cafe called 좋은 세상만들기 and his whole fan club was there! What I love about idol birthday cafe culture here are how their fans decorate the host cafes with their pictures, cute stickers, and themed-pastries <3
Tip: When you go birthday cafe hopping, you have to buy at least one drink at each cafe in order to get any special gifts or extra stuff. Make sure you have an empty bladder when you start and bring a big enough bag for all of the cute goodies and treats that you will pick up along the way!!
Wonho’s Birthday Cafes
For my second ultimate bias Wonho (previously from the group Monsta X), I went all out again. Instead of just a single day, I went over the course of two days to his various birthday cafes.
Sad fact: He apparently visited all of these cafes in-person two days before I went to all of themㅠㅠ
Still, I walked away very happy from these two excursions. I not only got 2 versions of his latest album, but I also got his first and second albums which I had been looking for since 2020 for FREE. I KID YOU NOT. I WAS IN SHOCK when I saw a pile of his first albums just sitting in the front of a cafe counter (still in its packaging) and I asked the worker:
“Can I buy one of these?”
and he told me
“Oh, these are free to take”.
Shooketh to the core. I was. And to make things better, I got the versions of the albums that I wanted (for the photoshoot sections and album colors).
In addition to all of his albums (which are amazing), I went to one birthday cafe where they mentioned on their event poster that they would be having a giveaway after 5:30pm for visitors. I stayed there until that time and was given a random number for a raffle draw. I was picked and won…. a huge Wonho picture frame (see below). While I did get some weird looks on the bus-ride home carrying it, I didn’t care – I was flying high above the clouds from happiness!
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