Mokpo's city centre is quiet and seems devoid of much economic activity. The region was neglected by previous governments and the contrast is quite stark against the likes of Seoul and Busan. Nevertheless, there are several historic points of interest and signage is decent to walk around and find them.
The former Japanese consulate that was built in 1900 is now the Modern History Museum. It has many historic photographs and details from the painful occupation. After the Japanese left, the building became City Hall, Municipal Library, and Cultural Centre.
Mokpo's port opened in 1897 and the region prospered from trading.
Behind the building and into the hillside are air-raid shelters that the Japanese built to prepare for a long war.
Part 2 of the museum is a few blocks away at the former Oriental Colonization Company's branch. The building dates from 1920 and the company's intention was to monopolize the local economy for the Japanese overlords. This section displays historic photographs only, including some gruesome ones from the war.
There has been debate over the fate of the Japanese colonial-era buildings. The occupation from 1910-45 is a scar for the country, and what to do with this history remains a sensitive subject.
Simsang Primary School was built to educate Japanese children in 1929.
Otherwise, the streets are fairly devoid of people so it is a pleasant and tranquil stroll to look for more historic buildings.