Robin's Adventures

Taiwan
Beautiful Island

Cities, Houses, Farms, and Fields

We traveled about 160 miles across Taiwan from Taipei to Tainan. The view out the window could have been the same in many parts of the United States: big cities with tall buildings, houses and farms, freeways, and beautiful countryside. Watching the scenery was a pleasant way to pass the time.

Meet the Family

After a delightful lunch with Nina's family, we settled into our hotel and then met again for the wedding rehearsal.

Touring Tainan

Nina's parents, Ray-yu and Sho-ching, wanted us to experience some of the interesting sights that their town had to offer. They graciously rented a small bus and driver to take us around.

The city was much like any city in America with the exception that the signs were written in Chinese and, like everywhere in Taiwan, there was a great abundance of motorcycles and scooters.

Tainan Confucius Temple

The Tainan Confucius Temple was built in 1665 and has been renovated and expanded many times since then. There were several buildings, each with a somewhat different purpose.

The Wenchang Pavilion is a very unique three story building. The first floor is square, the second floor is round, and the third level is octagonal. The building is dedicated to the god of education and students often came here before an exam to pray.

The Edification Hall is where students came to study Confucian classics.

Just outside is a symbolic doorway called the gate of rite. The path leading through the gate is the route of righteousness. Only a person of good character can take the path and pass through the gate.

In the very center of the complex is a small building that is the temple itself. Although the building itself was very simple, there were interesting ceramic tiled figures on the roof.

Calligraphy

One whole wall is filled with Confucian philosophy from \"The Greater Learning\" that was written by a 13th century calligrapher.

There are many plaques hanging on the walls and around the central shrine that were given by various emperors and presidents to honor the memory of Confucius.

Artifacts

There were many beautiful statues and carvings. One statue commonly seen is the shi or guardian lion. The male lion is generally depicted with its front paw resting on an embroidered cloth ball representing supremacy over the world.

Roofline Decor

The roof of the Confucian temple is covered with interesting glazed tile mosaic decor. There is a multitiered pagoda in the center of the roof which is intended to ward off evil spirits. It is surrounded by two green dragons which signify power, strength, and good luck.

There are also guardian fish and a pair of phoenix-like birds. The two canisters on the roof were used as a hiding place for books during the era when books were burned by the emperor.

Hayashi Department Store

This department store just had its grand reopening following a major renovation. It was first opened in 1932 and was considered to be very modern at the time with state of the art features, such as an elevator. During WWII, the building suffered serious bombing damage and was used after the war as offices by a salt company.

In 1998, the building was classified as a municipal heritage site and the renovation of the department store began. On the rooftop level are several cafes, an observation deck where you can view the city and the famous land bank across the street, and a small shrine. There is also a preserved section from the original building that shows where a bomb struck during an air raid.

Unique Wares

The Hayashi Department Store focuses its merchandising on local cultural products. As a result, they had many unique items for sale and it was interesting to wander through the store and check it out.

Delightful Dining

We had a wonderful meal at a bbq restaurant where our hosts made sure the food just kept coming and we would cook it up on the grills in the center of the table.