Shifen & Juifen

April 2023

About 90 minutes from Taipei, along an old coal-turned-tourist railway is Shifen. This village has the rail line running down its main street. As the train is only hourly, the street is usually busy with people but then for a few minutes each hour, it empties to allow the train to trundle through. Accessible via bus another 30 or so minutes away is Juifen, mistakenly known as the inspiration for Spirited Away, this hillside village has a sprawling network of narrow market alleyways selling everything from stinky tofu to peanut ice rolls.