Speaking of Taiwan’s tourist attractions that are well-known in Japan, there are rumors that it is the stage model of the movie “Spirited Away” released in 2001. I went to Jiufen this time at the end of 2015. The weather was a bit cold at that time, so I would like to introduce the situation to you.
The Jiufen I visited this time is a mountain town in Ruifang District, New Taipei City, close to Taipei City. Jiufen itself is often introduced on various tourist information websites, but transportation is hardly mentioned when actually going to Jiufen. In order to avoid confusion after entering the station, when I was researching how to go to Jiufen from Taipei City, I found out how to go directly to Jiufen from Taipei City, and then take a train, bus or taxi from Taipei Main Station to Jiufen. There is a way to do it. If you take a bus, you can take “Keelung Bus 1062 to Jinguashi” at the bus stop of Zhongxiao Fuxing Station on the MRT, and get off at the Jiufen Old Street bus stop for about 90 minutes. The other is to move from Taipei Main Station to Taiwan Railway Ruifang Station. It takes about 50 minutes by ordinary train, and the express train arrives at Ruifang Station about 10 minutes earlier than the ordinary train. After arriving at Ruifang Station, take a bus or taxi to Jiufen. Take the bus and get off at Jiufen Old Street Station, then take a taxi to Jiufen, the uniform fare is NT$205.
This time I wanted to see the status of Taiwan’s regular railways, so I switched to trains and taxis and moved to Jiufen. The automatic ticket vending machines on the first floor of Taipei Main Station were overcrowded, so they moved to the floor adjacent to the ticket gates of the Taiwan Shinkansen and Taiwan Railways at the subway station. To be on the safe side, I checked the direction and route of my destination Ruifang Station on the route map on the ticket vending machine. This time I took an ordinary train (49 Taiwan dollars) to Ruifang Station.
The train from Taipei Station to Ruifang Station is a bit uncomfortable to sit on, but since the train is new, it is not much different from traveling by train in Japan. The train arrives at Ruifang Station on time. Ruifang Station is the nearest station to Jiufen, and there are many passengers. In addition, Ruifang Station is also known as the transfer station of the Pingxi Line. When going to the “Shifen Station” famous for its lanterns, you need to transfer at Ruifang Station.
From Ruifang Station to Jiufen, you need to take a bus or a taxi, but this time we will take a taxi, each destination has a fixed fare. From Ruifang Station to Jiufen, it takes about 20 minutes to run a steep uphill road. The taxi fare is 205 Taiwan dollars, which is more expensive than the bus, but unlike the fixed-route bus, you can definitely get a seat, so it is recommended.
Jiufen is located on a hill about 300m above sea level, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of mountains and seas below. I found the entrance of Kisangai, which is the entrance of Jiufen Sightseeing, next to 7-11, a little uphill from where I got off. I would like to start sightseeing in Jiufen from the entrance of Jishan Street next to 7-11.
Mushan Street is an impressive shopping area with many of the red lanterns seen in Spirited Away. It is an arcade shopping street that is safe even in rainy days, so you can walk easily even in rainy days. The golden chocolate reminds us that there used to be a gold mine in Jiufen, maybe a fun souvenir.
Wooden Hill Street is an interesting shopping street, but the rain seeps through the gaps in the arcade shopping street, making the road surface slippery. Mushan Street is not a walking path, there are a lot of motorcycles with luggage, so be careful.
Continuing along Kiyama Street, you will see a crossroads with a shop in front and “Shoshifu” written on the left. If you want to go sightseeing on Jianqi Road, you can experience the uniqueness of Jiufen. It is recommended to go to the right, but because it is more troublesome, if you go straight, if you go left, you can see what kind of shops there are. in particular.
First of all, go straight ahead at the intersection in front of “Koshifu”, and you will find a viewing platform where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of mountain villages, mountains and the sea. When the weather is clear, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery from afar.
After that, turn left at the intersection in front of Koshifu and climb up the steep stairs. In the middle of the stairs there is a “Three Cats Store” that sells cat supplies, and further ahead is an elementary school that says “Jiufen Elementary School, Ruifang District, New Taipei City”. I have it.
Finally, turn right at the intersection in front of “Little Teacher” and walk along Suqi Road, which is often mentioned in Jiufen tourist information. Fuqi Road is a narrow, stepped alley that runs vertically through downtown Jiufen. On both sides of the alley are teahouses and restaurants transformed from old buildings. In addition, it is said that the stairs and red lanterns that appeared in the movie “Spirited Away” are based on Yazaki Road. It feels that many Japanese tourists gather on the street.
Walking down the steep steps on Suqi Road, you will find the famous coffee shop “Amei Tea Tree House” in Jiufen on your right. It is said that the Ami Tea Tree House is the prototype of Yubaba’s house that appeared in “Spirited Away”. There is a signboard next to the store entrance, and it has been made.
In the atmosphere of many Japanese tourists returning home, I ordered a tea set with tea and dessert. NT$300 per person. There are four desserts in the set: Sesame Candy, Sweet Plum, Soybean Mochi, and Fall Maru. The clerk started to make tea, and the first cup was poured by the clerk. Drink it immediately, it has a unique refreshing taste, it is most suitable for drinking after visiting Jiufen on a rainy day. Many tea cakes are also sweet. Considering the compatibility with tea, eating them after walking will be more delicious.
Also, if you order a tea set, the staff will replenish the hot water at any time, so that you can enjoy the tea until it runs out. You can enjoy hot tea anytime as long as tea leaves are available.
While I was drinking my tea, the wind and rain suddenly stopped and I moved to the patio seats. From the space with terrace seats, you can enjoy the unique scenery of Jiufen mountain and sea. This time I didn’t get to enjoy the view while sipping tea, but the next time I have a chance to go to Jiufen on a sunny day, I leave the shop hoping to have a cup of tea on the terrace.
This time, I came to Jiufen, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taiwan, for the first time. Since Jiufen is a popular tourist spot, I avoided weekends and holidays and tried entering Jiufen on a Monday morning and found Spirited Away very impressive, not only for Japanese tourists but also for local tourists. Surprised how crowded it is, like walking on Amei Street at the end of the year.
The one-day sightseeing in Jiufen includes “Jishan Street” which has become an arcade shopping street; “Amei Tea House” based on “Grandma Yu’s House” that appeared in “To Chihiro” as the prototype. In particular, “Kiyama Street” where you can feel the atmosphere of “Spirited Away”. Also, I was impressed by the delicious tea at “Ami Tea Tree House”, the prototype of “Yubaba’s House” in “Spirited Away” impression.
In addition, there are relatively many rainy days in northern areas such as Jiufen and Taipei City, so rain gear and non-slip shoes are essential. In addition, if you go in winter, the temperature may drop below 15 degrees, so it is recommended to take cold protection measures.