Jiufen Taiwan Day Trip
One of my favorite places in Taiwan was the decommissioned gold mining town of Juifen. This popular mountainside holiday destination is a particular favorite with the Japanese. If you’re into Anime and have seen the movie Spirited Away then you’ll definitely want to come here because it’s where Hayao Miyazaki pulled much of his inspiration from.
Although the tourist popularity has nothing to do with the actual story of Spirited Away, many parts of the film do tear off some huge Jiufen chunks as inspiration for the characters and places that Miyazaki created. Jiufen Taiwan is fun for wandering around the old town full of small shops and food or head to the mines, or the mountain peak viewpoint!
Jiufen Old Town
Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893. I spent a half day enjoying all the sites and smells there are to take in walking through the bustling business alleyways with interesting shops the entire way on either side.
The cobblestone steps of Shuqi Road is the recommended way to go from one end of the marketplace to the other. Boasting a wide selection of shops, cafes, and restaurants you can plan on spending at least a couple of hours if you really stop and take in the experience.
The souvenir shops and eateries that line both sides of the pedestrian-only pathways are home to Jiufens best-known specialty snack enjoyed either hot or cold. This tasty treat is a tapioca and sweet potato ball soup, it’s highly recommended! I had mine iced and will never forget it.
After reaching the top you should make your way down to the famous Jiufen A Mei Teahouse.
Jiufen is located in Ruifang District of New Taipei City. The town of Ruifang is a great place to begin your adventure in scenic Northern Taiwan. The train from Keelung costs only a few bucks and the bus up to Jiufen is even less expensive.
This place and Taiwan, in general, are so full of culture and history between the Taiwanese and Japanese which results in a variety of hybrid food options with something for everyone to enjoy. They even have a hilltop shop dedicated entirely to cats and cat merchandise!
Jiufen Taiwan Day Trip
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