Jiufen Old Street

Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of
gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. Many
buildings in the town remain unchanged to this day, reflecting the Japanese influence on both
architecture and culture on the island. During World War II, the town housed a Japanese prisoner-of-war
camp, where captured Allied Force soldiers (mainly British), were forced to work in the gold mines. After
the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination
remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history and culture.

A convenient way to visit Jiufen (as well as Shifen in Pingxi 平溪) is to take a shuttle bus from Ximen,
leaving in the morning and returning before dinner.

From the beginning of the 1990s, Jiufen experienced a tourist boom that has shaped the town into an
attraction easily accessible from Taipei City as a nice day trip (around 2 hours away roundtrip by public
transit). Today, the town is filled with both retro Chinese and Japanese-style cafés, tea houses, and
souvenir shops, as well as fantastic views of the ocean.

The majority of attractions are concentrated along the cobblestone steps of Shuqi Road (豎崎路)
between Jiufen Elementary School and the Jiufen police precinct. The three roads running perpendicular
to Shuqi Road (Jishan St., Qiche Rd., and Qingbian Rd.) each boast a wide variety of shops, restaurants,
and cafés.

Besides the main roads, there are numerous small alleys and lanes that snake around the area and
sometimes even run beneath buildings.

Explore Jiufen and the surrounding mountain area as part of a tour inclusive of transportation with an
English-speaking guide to enjoy your day without having to worry about taking public transportation in
and out of Taipei City.

While most visitors come to Jiufen as part of a day trip, many enjoy staying overnight at one of Jiufen’s
many boutique hotels and B&Bs, called minsu (民宿) in Taiwan. Since there are a limited amount of
guesthouses and hotels in Jiufen and it is one of Taiwan’s more popular destinations, early reservation is

One of the items I really wanted to check off from Taipei is visiting Jiufen. Jiufen is a small village in the
mountains located an hour’s drive from Taipei. It has been made famous largely due to its similarity to the
village in Spirited Away, arguably Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular movie.

I have always been a huge fan of Miyazaki, so in the midst of my Taiwanese food marathon, I took a
break and made my way to Jiufen!

How to get to Jiufen from Taipei
From Taipei, Jiufen can be easily reached by a multitude of options: public transport, shuttle bus or by