Though I don’t agree with the war, I am intrigued by the history of Japanese colonization of Taiwan and its impact on both culture and architecture. One unique building from this era that I had a chance to check out in Tainan was the Hayashi Department Store (林百貨 / lin bai huo).

The Hayashi Department Store is a six story building located in West Central District (中西區 / zhong xi qu) that was built in 1932. It features a state-of-the-art elevator (for the time) and period architecture.

Nowadays, the department store is more like a series of smaller artisanal stores (not unlike what you might find at a cultural creative park). The top of the building also features a shinto shrine.

Here are some photos that I took of the space, as well as some of the cool items for sale:

I love how they still maintain the period interior inside.

Here’s a photo of the famous elevator, albeit, more modernized. I can only imagine what it would have been like to have shopped and ridden in this elevator back when.

If you’re interested in Japanese-Taiwan history and or looking to find a unique gift, drop by Hayashi Department Store for a fun little excursion from the ordinary.

林百貨 (Hayashi Department Store)