Jiufen Old Street – Get Spirited Away

What to Expect at Jiufen Old Street?

Jiufen Old Street is a captivating labyrinth of narrow alleyways, cobblestone streets, red lanterns, and traditional tea houses. This enchanting town, once a bustling gold mining hub, is a popular tourist destination that offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the charm of old Taiwan.

Jiufen Old Street

Jiufen: A Glimpse into Its History

Jiufen’s history is a fascinating blend of gold rush excitement and Japanese colonial influence. The story of Jiufen began in the late 19th century when gold was discovered in the area. This led to a rush of miners seeking their fortunes, and Jiufen quickly became a thriving mining town. The bustling streets were lined with miners, and the town prospered.

During the Japanese colonial period, Jiufen continued to flourish as the gold mining industry expanded. The Japanese introduced modern mining techniques, which boosted gold production. This period of prosperity left a significant impact on the town’s architecture, with Japanese influences still evident in the design of some buildings.

However, the gold mines eventually dried up, and Jiufen’s economy started to decline. The town fell into relative obscurity until the 1980s when it was rediscovered by the world through the critically acclaimed Taiwanese film, “City of Sadness,” which was filmed in Jiufen. The movie’s success rejuvenated interest in the town, and it has since become a beloved tourist destination.

Must-Visit Attractions in Jiufen

jiufen street
  1. Jiufen Old Street: Your journey in Jiufen should ideally start at the iconic Jiufen Old Street. This bustling market is the heart of the town, known for its narrow cobblestone alleys lined with traditional shops and street food stalls. The vibrant atmosphere, with red lanterns overhead, is the perfect place to savor the local cuisine, buy souvenirs, and take in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and ocean.
  2. Teahouses: Jiufen is renowned for its teahouses, which are not just places to enjoy tea but also offer spectacular panoramic views. One of the most famous is the A-Mei Tea House, known for its traditional architecture and beautiful terrace overlooking the sea.
  3. Jiufen Gold Mine Museum: To delve deeper into Jiufen’s gold mining history, visit the Jiufen Gold Mine Museum. This museum offers a comprehensive look at the town’s mining heritage, with exhibits on the equipment used, the lives of miners, and the historical significance of the industry.
  4. Spirited Away Stairs: If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli’s animated film “Spirited Away,” you’ll recognize the famous stone steps that inspired the film. These atmospheric stairs are said to have played a role in creating the magical world of the movie.
  5. Shenping Theater: Shenping Theater is an atmospheric relic from Jiufen’s past. It’s a fascinating place to explore, with its vintage movie posters and equipment. The theater’s architecture and history give you a glimpse into the entertainment of a bygone era.
  6. Jinguashi: Just a short drive away from Jiufen, Jinguashi is another intriguing historical site. Here, you can explore the remnants of the once-bustling mining industry and visit the Gold Ecological Park to learn about the extraction of gold in the region.

Exploring Jiufen Like a Local

To truly experience Jiufen, try to visit during the weekdays or during off-peak hours. The town can get quite crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so visiting during quieter times will allow you to enjoy the charming ambiance without the crowds.

Also, take the time to savor the local delicacies. Try taro balls, a famous local dessert, or sample the various street foods like fish balls, meat skewers, and fried squid. And don’t forget to enjoy a cup of oolong tea in one of the teahouses as you soak in the breathtaking views.

Other Attractions Around Jiufen

There are other attractions to do around Jiufen Town.

You can for instance:

Getting to Jiufen

Jiufen is conveniently located just a short train ride from Taipei, making it an accessible day trip or weekend getaway. From Taipei, take a train to Ruifang, and from there, you can catch a bus or a taxi to Jiufen. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour, which often includes stops at nearby attractions such as Jinguashi and Shifen.

It is approximately 1 hour away from Taipei via public transportation and around 40 min by car.

Train + Bus:

  • From anywhere in Taipei, go to Taipei Main Station
  • Take the train to Ruifang Station  (roughly 40 min train ride and will cost around 60NTD )
Jiufen bus map

  • At Ruifang Station take Exit West to get to the bus station
  • When you have exited the station and are facing the Wellcome take left and walk for about 250 meters.
  • When you see the police station on your right, the bus stop is next to the police station.  
  • Take the 788 (direction Jinguashih (Gold Ecological Park) or 965 (direction Gua Shan Elementary School) 
  •  Stop at Juifen Old Street (it costs about 15 NTD and lasts 20 minutes)


  • Take the bus 1062 to Keelung from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station 
  • Stop at Juifen Old Street

Car- scooter:

You can also go with your scooter or car if you have access to one. There are some parking spots close to Jiufen Old Street. And it is actually better if you plan on visiting Golden Waterfall or hiking Teapot Mountain as well because they are quite far from each other (40 min walk from Juifen Old Street to Teapot Mountain trail entrance))

The Taxis from Taipei to Jiufen Old Street should cost you around 1200 NTD and take about 45 min.

Let us know what you think of Jiufen!