One of the most amazing movies I have ever seen is Spirited Away. I have always been a big fan of Miyazaki’s work cause no matter how old you are, when you watch his movies, you feel like a child again. It’s magic every time I watch Spirited Away. I’ve must have seen the Japanese version about a hundred times already. The language makes it even more magic.
I always wondered if there was a place that looked like the film setting. Of course Japan has loads of cute streets and villages that may look like the movie, but somehow I stumbled upon a place in Taiwan called Jiufen. When I searched for this place it turned out to be inspiration for the movie. Jiufen itself was starting to get popular even a couple of years before Japan appeared. Why? Gold was discovered. Quite a bit was built up around here, and Japanese ryokans, and bath houses exist in the town to this day just like in the movie.
While the story of Jiufen, its gold rush, its POW gold miners, and its rise to tourist popularity has nothing to do with the actual story of Spirited Away, many parts of the film do tear off some huge Jiufen chunks as inspiration for the characters and places that Miyazaki created.
Do you want to visit?