Nestled on a mountain top and decorated with rows of lanterns, Jiufen is a great little town to visit. The crowds are insane over a long weekend though, and we went back again during the week to soak up some more of the magic of this town. This generally includes exploring the maze of alleys of steep steps whilst enjoying delicious snacks bought at the stalls on the way. My favorites was the huge mushrooms - barbecued with butter and spice - served cut up in a little cup and the prawn balls served with pickles - yum!. There are some fantastic tea houses dotted throughout the little town with up to 5 floors of beautiful booths, nooks and crannies to sit in and enjoy some traditional Taiwanese tea.
There are too many things to take in at once and for creative inspirations I decided to focus on one thing at a time. So, Spirited Away it is - Jiufen was part of the inspiration of the film. Apparently Mr. Miyasaki visited the little village on a mountain and was charmed by it. I'm not surprised - it is wonderfully charming! I've compared some of the scenes - have a look for yourself! I've included a quick drawing I did there too.
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