Monday, December 14

Jiu Fen - Inspiring Spirited Away

I would say that this movie has drastically changed my whole life. When we were about 13 or 14 Micke bought this Japanese movie called Spirited Away. He said it was directed by Hayao Miyazaki a, no idea what your talking about dude? Well that was close to 20 years ago already.

The movie starts with a girl going with her parents to a small town market, the parents end up eating so much food that they turn into pigs. Maybe this is a reference from the bible on Gluttony? The girl tries to save them so the butcher won't make pork chops out of them. Lot of things happen in a world full of magic and fantasy. The soundtrack is just amazing, I used to repeat it countless of times long long ago. Still good :)

Anyway, coming back to the point why this movie changed my life? It was initially from this one I got interested in Japanese movies and other Asian things. In a way this movie combined with One Piece the serie is what made me go to China (because there were no partner schools in Tokyo). But soon I'll be going to where I originally planned. 

So what does a village called Jiufen next to Keelung in Taiwan have to do with any of this? Well, Miyazaki came to this village long ago and it inspired him to direct the movie Spirited Away. So in a way this small old village about 50 km outside of Taipei is one of the main reasons I am where I am today. Came to Jiufen twice 2 days straight as a "tour guide". First day it was cloudy but second day nice and sunny.

Gorgeous place! When you visit, go to one of the view spot coffee shops or restaurants. Walk down the old street and make sure you also swing by the massive temple on the way up to the mountain. MUST SEE if your in Taipei. 

This restaurant view is just fantastic 
 Rain started coming down and there was suddenly this bright rainbow around the corner. Picture has not been edited, the colors were super strong. Too bad didn't see more than this
 Temple in the woods 
Over the hills and far away. Pretty!! 
Day one 180 degree widescreen, not very sunny here
 Had a very traditional Chinese meal 
 The old streets are narrow and the whole place is just really cozy
 If smells could be recorded on photos! Looks like the girl to the left isn't a big fan...Loads of the stalls are making "stinky tofu". If you wonder it's called that, it's because it really stinks. Lot of this in the streets of Beijing too but not so much in Shanghai. 
 Popular tourist spot
Overlooking the old street 
Caramelized peanuts, some kinda ice cream wrapped around dough . Really good!! 
Local painter, making really nice stuff 
Spicy shrimp anyone? 
More tofu
Pork on a ball. Looks tasty yeah? 
This is like a copy from Spirited Away
 Love these temples, too bad that most were destroyed in mainland China during the culture revolution 

We added some prayers for good luck in 2016

 Jiufen village from further away
 What a sunset!!
 Gorgeous in twilight
 There was an old lady who told us to follow her. She took us up on the roof. After talking to her a while I discovered that she has been in this temple her whole like over 60 years. So sweet to let us up and see all of this. 

 The inside was just so detailed and filled with gold. Amazing 
 These traditional doors should be used more! 

In most temples you will also find fish! 
 Best time to go here is just around 5:30 and stay during the sunset. 

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