Hinoki Village (aka Cypress Forest Life Village 檜意森活村 Guìyì sēnhuó cūn) is the largest group of Japaneses era buildings in Taiwan, with over 30 restored era wooden structures. Located in Chiayi City, it is a remnant of the logging industry that existed in Chiayi during the Japanese era. As one of the best preserved historical sites in Taiwan, it is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Chiayi.
Hinoki Village dates back to 1914 when the Japanese built the Alishan Forest Railway for exploitation of lumber in the mountains of Chiayi. The village acted as a residential area for loggers, lumber industry management, and dependents.
The village included a building for top management, two buildings for management dependents, another four dormitories for dependents, a dormitory for single workers, a public bath house, and a hostel.
After WWII, it became a residential area for the ROC's forestry bureau and their dependents. In 2005, many buildings were listed as historical buildings under protection. In 2009, the area was planned as one of Taiwan's six major city renovation projects. It took NT 400 million dollars and 4 years to complete. The renovation of the village was completed in 2013 and is now operated by the public.
The village now contains 21 bookstores, restaurants, coffee and tea shops, and a farmers market.
10 AM to 6 PM
How to get there:
By Train/Bus: The village is a short walk across the street from Chiayi Beimen (North Gate) Station.
By Car/Scooter: From Chiayi Station, turn north on County road 159 until you reach Beimen Station. The village is across the street from Beimen Station. There is free and paid parking on the street nearby.
Please see below:
I have been to Hinoki village once. It is truly the best Japanese era village in Taiwan and is definitely worth a stop.
Map of the 30+ buildings in the area.
One of the restored houses.
More restored buildings that have been converted into bathrooms and coffee shops.
A Japanese house turned coffee shop.
Japanese era wagon.
More restored houses.
Miniature model of the village.
Historical photos of the village and Alishan railway.
More historical photos.
More historical photos.
Art exhibit inside one of the houses.
More art exhibits.
Now that you have a taste of what this village is like, it is time to go check it our for yourself.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.