Jiufen – Inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away?

Jiufen became a popular tourist destination since the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away was released in 2001. Despite the resemblance of Jiufen to the setting in the movie, Hayao Miyazaki, the writer and director of the film, insists that Jiufen *wasn’t* used as a model for the film. It’s possible that the architecture bears the resemblance because Jiufen still has a lot of the Japanese architecture from its time under Japanese control.

Jiufen peaked during its gold rush and later became a ghost town. Now, the city’s main industry is tourism with many shops selling Taiwanese food and souvenirs (especially items related to Studio Ghibli).

The city is built on the edge of a mountain and at many scenic lookout points, one can see the surrounding areas.

See more photos of my trip to Jiufen here

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