No.2-3, Xingchan Rd., Lugu Township, Nantou County 558, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
A Japanese style village built in 2011, Xitou Monster Village (溪頭怪物村 or 松林町) attracts more than 200,000 tourists a month. A torii, a traditional Japanese gate most often found within a Shinto shrine, stands at the entrance of the village, symbolically marking the transition from the profane to the sacred. Cute Japanese monster statues are all over this small village and red lanterns hang on the eaves, making it a brilliant place for photography. Restaurants and souvenir shops are named after different kind of Japanese monsters.
The story of how this little village came about is a touching one. During Taiwan’s time under Japanese rule, Kubota (久保田) and Katsuichi Matsubayashi (松林勝一) were close friends and worked together in Xitou. Kubota was Japanese and Matsubayashi was Taiwanese. Even after Japan lost WWII and Kubota had to go back to Japan, their friendship stayed strong. Kubota ran a bakery which he called Matsubuyashi Kubota with his wife and tried to make their life better after WWII in Japan. However, years later, the bakery was destroyed by fire and his wife died. Later, when Matsubayashi heard of the story by mail, he sent some money to Kubota. In 1974, Matsubayashi received another mail from Kubota, telling him he had a wooden sculpture and wanted to give it to Matsubayashi as a present. In the end, they couldn’t meet each other in Japan for one last time. Before Matsubayashi died, he told his descendants to finish his last wish and in 2009, their descendants finally had the chance to make it happen. Now, the wooden sculpture is placed in Ming Shan Resort behind the Monster Village. In order to commemorate their friendship, Ming Shan Resort built this village and named it after Matsubayashi. Meanwhile, a bakery was named after Kubot. Between 10:30 and 14:30 every day, many tourists wait outside the front of the bakery for the fresh baked bread.
Suitable for families with children, or children at heart, a visit to the Monster Village is a fantastic opportunity to get acquainted with the local forest spirits. And when you’ve finished here, we recommend walking among, and even above, the trees at the nearby Xitou Nature Education Area for a truly refreshing “forest bath”.
- Due to popular demand, we have created a tour into Nantou, the very heart of Taiwan. The highlight of this trip is a visit to the Xitou Monster Village itself. Public transport is not easy around here, so you will appreciate your friendly door-to-door guide service, leaving you free to appreciate this forested mountain wonderland as you like.