Hayashi Department Store (林百貨) is a restored 1930’s multi-story department store in central Tainan, constructed during the Japanese colonial era as one of the first such department stores in Taiwan. The store is full of souvenir buying opportunities, such as locally made handicrafts and clothing. There are also many limited edition goods and boutique retailers to check out.
At the time of its construction it was considered extremely modern with facilities such as elevators. They’ve still kept some of the old touches from the era, such as the old-fashioned dial type floor indicators in the elevators and narrow winding staircases. It’s definitely the most nostalgic department store experience that anyone could have.
Be sure to head to the top floor, even if you are not interested in shopping here. As well as the Japanese Torii gate at the top, there are views over the city via an observation deck, and on a clear day you’ll be able to see the mountains to the east. There are also some fascinating tidbits of history to discover up here, such as the bullet holes from United States fighter planes and information boards about areas that were bombed during the war.
How to get there
Hayashi Department Store is about 15 minutes on foot from Tainan Station via the south-west heading Zhongshan Road. It’s located on bus route 1 (6 minutes, NT$15), plus the Blue Line and the extended Red Line bus routes. It’s also a 10 minute walk south of nearby Chihkan Tower.
Open: 111am to 9pm
Official website: hayashi.com.tw