Korea is one of the countries with cities that never sleep. It is a rare phenomenon that most shops and services are open around the clock. In Korea, however, 24-hour opening is considered as a natural trend. Whenever you need something, you can get everything regardless of the time of night. Whenever you are hungry, although it is dawn, you can use a 24-hour delivery service of almost every kind of food. Have you ever experienced a delivery service at midnight? Or, have you ever used a café as a place to study all night? If you have, you are one of the people who are enjoying Korea’s ‘never sleep’ culture. In the night, lights are spread out over the city and none of them are going to sleep.
SMT Have you ever used 24 hours shops or services? If so, what was the most memorable experience for you?
Moeto I often use pubs around Hongik University with friends. As they are open 24 hours, there are lots of people around all night, so I feel relieved to spend great time all night. Also, I like the energetic and exciting atmosphere even at midnight.
Soonil Yes, of course. I have used the 24 hours shops and delivery services very often. I am a youth who enjoys night life as well as recreation cultures, so the shops and services are really useful to me. Also, I often use 24 hour cafés or restaurants as places to study all night.
Shamrin I think it can be fun and exciting to have so many 24 hour services available around Seoul! I hope to experience more in the future. I have noticed that so many bars and nightlife areas are active until the very early morning, and I am not used to this. Korea makes it very easy to eat and drink from sunset to sunrise! There is also a 24 hour bowling alley nearby the university, and this was very surprising to me because I can’t imagine going bowling at 3AM! One of my favorite memories involves going to a karaoke very late at night and singing with my friends for hours until morning.
Yejin I am a person who goes to sleep early and has a curfew, so I do not tend to use 24 hour shops or services, but sometimes my family enjoy late-night food like fried chicken.
SMT How does this compare with your country?
Moeto Japan also has lots of 24 hours services like Korea. There are many kinds of places that are open all night. Ramen restaurants and hot springs are especially popular for Japanese. Also, like bowling alleys and karaoke, some play facilities operate all night.
Shamrin There are 24 hour services available in the United States, but there are definitely not as many options. Most of these services include fast food restaurants or convenience stores. There are not many other places to go in the middle of the night in Florida! Almost all bars close at 2AM, so
most people are forced to go home or to a friend’s house at that time.
SMT What do you think about this phenomenon? Some find this very convenient, but others consider this phenomenon as something mad or overeager.
Soonil There is a word ‘Owl People: Olppemi syndrome,’ which refers to people who tend to sleep late at night. Lots of people are awake in the night, and the number of them is increasing. This means that 24 hour services are in demand. Indeed, 24 hour shops and services are such a useful idea. It is also helpful for someone like me who starts a day early in the morning. That’s because 24 hour shops affect early morning as well as late night.
Moeto I also think that is a great business idea. As there is a demand from an economic standpoint, the city could be more activated. This is connected to great motivation to the whole country’s economic growth. From a personal perspective, I like the lively and energetic atmosphere around because it makes me cheerful and pleasant!
Yejin It is such a useful and convenient idea because people could get anything they need at any time. Without any time constraints, I can enjoy lots of activities and services like cafés or convenience stores. I think this is a marketing strategy and it has succeeded. However, there are some inconveniences. 24-hour pubs are spread to even living areas. People get drunk and sometimes vomit anywhere. That happens late at night so there is no restraint.