A while back, I wrote about a weird “urban bubble” in otherwise rural Toufen township. Recently, I went back there and it seems like the development gnomes have been hard at work. The area has changed drastically. There are a lot more stores, shops, restaurants and people! Formerly, deserted enough to hear the leaves rustling, it’s now become an outing hotspot for the locals.
The thing that really caught my eye was a massive, red archway now citing this area as “Japanese City”:
Inside this “Japanese city” (where once empty store fronts and tumbleweeds existed) there is now a plethora of Japanese oriented trinket shops and a slew of Japanese themed restaurants. At one point, 5 in a row:
Across this area, the streets have been filled with more boutiques – modern looking/western ones – rare in Toufen:
Also, there are picnic tables (patio areas?) that have sprouted up, lining the streets:
I stayed around for a while, and as evening approached, the crowds started coming, and the area soon filled up. Seems like this area was planned to be an attraction to draw more people into Toufen.
I guess that makes sense now, seeing as the nearby Hsinchu science park is a top draw for engineering talent from all over the world. People are spilling over to Toufen and this town is growing. I’ll make sure to visit “Japanese city” again in a few months to see what new attractions have popped up.
If you are ever in Toufen, be sure to visit here. It’s right behind the only RT mart (department store) in town.