Jiufen Old Street: A rainy trip with Totoro and No Face


It’s our second time in Taiwan and because my hubby and I are both Miyazaki’s avid fan we spend our 1st day in Jiufen Old Street again. Yes you read it right “again” “the second time“! During our last visit here we experience a heavy downpour of rain, despite of this situation we still enjoy this busy street.

Fun Facts: Jiufen inspired the town and bathhouse in one of Miyazaki’s greatest films: Spirited Away. Before the movies “Spirited Away” and “City of Sadness”, Jiufen was a simple and secluded village composed of only nine families. The village was then developed during the golden age of mining industry in the area.

When I start to draft our second itinerary to Taiwan I make it sure that our next visit will not be rainy anymore, so I rely on the weather forecast. But unfortunately a week before our visit the weather becomes gloomy. Nevertheless, the experience is a bit different now since we arrive early in the morning, the street is not that busy just like the last time.

Jiufen is an interesting old street full of local delicacies, desserts, tea tasting and handicraft products. Slow stroll within the area to accommodate the ever-increasing crowd, mostly tourists. Besides the main roads, there are numerous small alleys and lanes that snake around the area and sometimes even run beneath buildings.

There are four relatively well-renown streets in Jiufen among which includes Jishan Street, otherwise known as Dark Street. Rain or shine the street never sees the sun’s rays of light and it is usually packed with people, particularly on weekends and holidays. The other three streets also frequented by visitors are known as Cingbian Road, Ciche Road, and Jianci Road.
How to get from Taipei to Jiufen
Zhongxiao Fuxing Station – Bus 1062 – Jiufen: Traveling by bus may take one hour depending on the traffic condition. Ride the bus 1062 at the Exit 1, Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station.

Via MRT and BUS: You may also take the TRA from Taipei Main Station going to Ruifang Station. Then, take the bus 827 or 788 at Mingdeng Road, both going Jiufen. The downside in taking this option is that it may take longer travel time than taking a bus. Note also that TRA travels by schedule. You may need to check the time TRA leaves to see if it fits your schedule.If you choose the latter at the front side of Ruifang train station you will see a map that will guide you to the next bus that will bring you to Juifen.

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