Friday, August 9, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 8 - Tainan (台南) | Blueprint Culture & Creative Park (藍晒圖文創園區) | Hayashi Department Store (林百货) | 巨大扭蛋機貨櫃市集

8 December 2018

Part 2 of our walking tour around Tainan City by Foot!

Part 2 of Day 8 @ Tainan
1) Blueprint Culture & Creative Park (藍晒圖文創園區) 
2) Kobayashi The Finest Cookies (小林煎饼)
3) Hayashi Department Store (林百货)
4) Giant Capsule Machine (衛民街巨大扭蛋機貨櫃市集)

Unlike Taipei and Taichung, the pace of Tainan city feels a little more laid back with a greater injection of cultural charm. After a heavy breakfast, we continued our walking trail.

10:40am - Located opposite of Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (新光三越), Blueprint Cultural & Creative Park (藍晒圖文創園區) is converted from Japanese government dormitories into a cultural park with many art installations - a popular destination for art appreciation and photo opportunities for both young and old. Particularly the Blue House at the entrance which is a 3D blueprint night art installation where the white tube lines dazzle against the deep blue walls to give a 3D work of art. It is best view at night but you can also drop by during the day.

You will find BCP's mascot around the park. Meet 'BLUES' - he is sea-blue in colour, and has LED eyes that changes expressions, Standing at 3-meters tall, he has a pair of super long legs.

At Blueprint Culture & Creative Park, you can also find unique stores showcasing wood crafts, local print products and sweet delicacies.

You need to keep your eyes on the wordings which are pretty interesting

It is also a pretty sight in between the small lanes.

Beautiful graffiti / murals on the walls of the buildings which turns out to be great photography spots.

Each one is unique and seems to have a story to tell. Which one is your favourite?

Every corner seems to be the perfect OOTD photography spot. 

My personal favourite has to be this part of the park. I love how the greenery and veins wrapped around the building.

We spent nearly an hour at BCP despite many of the shops remains closed. You may want to come by later in the day or evening and have a different perspective and view of the park at night.

It was really hot at noon and we decided to window shop at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (新光三越) which is just across the road from BCP.

12:50pm - It must be the wonder of our heavy breakfast that we are still not hungry at this hour. While making our way to Hayashi Department, we stopped by and bought another cup of red tea.

1pm - A couple of minutes walk ahead, we spotted an interesting shop selling assorted cookies - Kobayashi The Finest Cookies (小林煎饼). What attracted us into the shop was the aroma from the bell-shaped pancakes.

It turns out the the pancakes are very delicious! Creamy filling of butter and custard on the inside and soft and fluffy on the outside. Initially we bought 3 to try but ended up buying a box of 10 and we finished them all in 10 minutes! It is best to eat while it is hot!

Kobayashi has outlets in Taipei, Taichung, Kaoshiung and Tainan. We were lucky to pass by the only shop in Tainan. It is not too far from Hayashi Department so you may want to bookmark this as part of your itinerary.

1:10pm - One of the popular destination in Tainan is Hayashi Department Store (林百货). I was puzzled and curious why this is a tourist attraction. Further reading online and learnt that Hayashi, also known as "Five-Stories House" (五棧樓仔) was first opened in 1932 during the Japanese Colonial period. It was the largest department store in Southern Taiwan and one of the first department store in Taiwan which has a modern elevator, hand-rolling gates, flush toilets, lightning rods, PLUS a Japanese shrine on the rooftop.

Needless to say, after the refurbishment and when it was re-opened in 2014, crowds swamp in to have a look of the old cultural building.

Each floor has its own theme

1F - Tainan Feast (Souvenir, Tea, Hayashi products)
2F - Innovative Design (Innovative creations, handicrafts, hobby goods, floral designs)
3F - Fashion Stylish (Lifestyle goods, Fragrance products, stylish accessories)
4F - Culture Salon (Museum & event hall, Living art, music, Hayashi Cafe)
5F - Unique Cuisine (Taiwanese food, Local snack)
6F - Hayashi Shop. Shrines, Observatory

The needle dial elevator is one of the main icon of Hayashi and it only stops at level 1 and 5. You have to climb the stairs to get to the other floors. There were many who queue up wanting to experience taking the dial elevator. As it can only take a maximum of 5 pax per trip, you may need to wait quite a bit before you get a chance. Otherwise, just take the stairs which is a faster alternative.

Take the stairs up to level 6 - rooftop and get a beautiful view of the streets of Tainan.
This is an old photo of how Tainan streets looked like back in 1962-1963.

Shintoist Shrine built during the Japanese Colonial Era. It was completed 6 months after the opening of Hayashi. 

During the Pacific Wars in WWII, Taiwan was bombed by American's air-raid. In 1945, the Allied Forces conducted the biggest air-raid to Tainan, bombing massively around the current Minquan and Zhongzheng Road. The roof and part of the floors were destroyed. Though the marks and bullet holes left on the facade of Hayashi Department Store were repaired during the restoration, visitors can still see the evidence of the ferocious attack, like machine gun bullet holes on the roof top structure.

Hayashi has many exquisite products and there are cafes within the store. I only find the pricing of the items a little too pricey. I prefer the rich history of the building and thankfully much of the original interior designs have been kept which preserves the authentic feel of Hayashi.

If you have more time to spare, there are many interesting landmark in Tainan City.
Tainan City Government Fire Bureau

1:50pm - I guess many find it weird that I actually included Giant Gashapon (巨大扭蛋機) as part of our itinerary in Tainan. It was very popular at one period of time where many crowded and try their luck at the gashapon (capsule) machine.

The 2-storey high, blue white gigantic gashapon machine in Tainan was probably the main source that stir the capsule boom back then. Now the craze has faded, crowd has disbanded, there was no one when we arrived on a hot afternoon. Still it is a nice picture spot.

Since we are here, might as well try our luck at the capsule machine for a gigantic capsule ball. Our single twist (NT100) earns us a mini massager. Many items may not be of great use but it was still pretty interesting. I wonder what other prizes lies within the huge container.

Blueprint Cultural & Creative Park
Address: Lane. 689, Section 1, Ximen Rd, West Central District, Tainan City 700, Taiwan

Kobayashi The Finest Cookies (小林煎餅)
Address: No. 89, Zhongzheng Road, West Central District, Tainan City 700, Taiwan

Hayashi Department Store (林百货)
Address: No.63, Section 2, Zhongyi Road, West Central District., Tainan City 700, Taiwan

Address: No. 152, Weimin Street, West Central District., Tainan City 700, Taiwan

Part 3 of Day 8 on our next post.
Check out our 2 Weeks Taiwan Itinerary Family Trip here

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