What is Ximending ?
Ximending is located in the west of Taipei and is popular among international travelers and locals alike. It is often referred to as the “Harujuku of Taipie” of the “Shibuya of Taipei”. It is the place where Taiwan and Japan’s subculture meets. Ximending came to birth and grew to resemble the shopping streets of Japan due to Japan’s colonization in the past. Fashion, food, art, music and much more penetrates the life of Ximending. It also is home to many pubs, clubs, karaoke joints and major entertainment hubs. Commuting from and to Ximending is easy enough as most of the major bus lines gather at Ximending for bus tranfers. Ximending can be accessed at Exit 6 of the Taipei Metro Ximen Station (Banqiao Line and Xiananmen Line).
Ximending was formerly a popular theater street in Taipei in the 1930s and grew rapidly after the defeat of Japan. Upon Ximending’s opening, many other theaters followed in it’s footsteps. Finally in 1999, both city locals and the government formed Ximending as a pedestrian area, stopping vehicles from entering the area drew the younger people in and businesses grew in leaps and bounds.
At present, Ximending hosts over six thousand vendors and is a busy area for concerts, album launches and street performances.
There are two faces to Ximending – it’s modernity and tradition. Apart from being the king of consumerism city, Ximending also offers historical sights and attractions to tourists. For example, the Ximending Mazu Temple features a significant historical place of worship for Taiwan. Interestingly, the Mazu Temple is sandwiched between two modern store fronts and tourists may by pass this traditional monument in a cliched modern Ximending if the surrounding area isn’t litted well enough at night. The Red House Theater, which was formerly Taiwan’s public market is another influential building and architechture during the Japanese era which is now an iconic and must-see landmark hosting plenty of performances from Jazz to Taiwanese Opera. Since Ximending is most lively at night, you can spend some time during the day learning more about Taipei City at the Presidential Office Building which is open for viewing from 11.30am onwards.
Ximending remains as one of the busiest city in the world, buzzing with an estimated 3 million shoppers per month. It caters to different kinds of shoppers from budget to high end and from individual vendors who round up in the streets to massive shopping complexes such as Wannien Department Store and Shizilin Square during the day, Wanguo Department Store and Eslite 116 later at night. Aside from shopping till your hats drop off, Ximending is packed full of eating adventures with some of the most absurd and extraordinary themed restaurants such as eating dishes and desserts from toilet miniatures or eating around a 100 different life sized Doraemon stuffed dolls. Ximending also represents a city of aestheticity. It has more than a dozen of hair saloons to complement all the shopping that it will rope one into. Not only is a wardrobe change needed, Ximending also markets itself for stylish hair makeovers. Overall, there is something for everyone in this multi functional city and it would be fulfilling in many ways to spend some days visiting this outstanding city.