Townscape of Lukang-01

Lukang was one of three mayor ports during the Ching Dynasty. Other were Tainan and Wanhua in Taipei. Being backed up by the prosperity of the trading between Continental China, this town produced famous literary men or calligrapher and the 4th period of Taiwan Chinese culture is called as Lukang Period. Now, the famous family's residence with neo-baroque style, which was constructed in the time under the rule of Japan, is opened as Lukang folklore museum. In the museum, they can see not Chinese civilization but the high-level Chinese culture which was succeeded in Lukang.

The prosperity of Lukang had been decaying after that the main transportation route had been constructed in the inland in the time under the rule of Japan. Now, Lukang is a small town with a population of 80,000. Thanks to that the development was not done very much, the town is abundant of the accumulation of historical attraction.

The old townscape district designated as a protected area of traditional townscape, the local townhouses built of brick, the narrow streets and lanes bent and turned due to preventing the strong wind in the winter, many temples with history scattered in the town, the townscape of main street with neo-occidental style constructed in the time of the end of the Ching destiny to the time under the rule of Japan, and various famous products and traditional industrial arts such as a meat bun, Chinese confectionery, Karasumi (smoke striped mullet spawn), folding fan, lantern, and religious articles. In the town with scale proper to walking, they encounter one after another to various apparatus for making walk pleasantly .

Although, in the Taiwanese towns, the lanes and temples are common elements, the density and level in Lukang are notable but those are not too maintained and are backed up by the usual life of the usual locals. It is an attraction of Lukang. During circulating, I felt a deja-vu with deer feeling or relieved atmosphere many times. It was similar to the once atmosphere of tourist resorts in Japan rather than the tourist resorts for a long time.

Since the attractive points in the town are scattered on the network of narrow streets, they have to get off the car and walk around, so, the town is still not involved in the motorization. But, the existence of the huge parking lot for tourism in the backside area of the main road suggests the possibility non grata in the near future.

And the actual state that the high-rise apartments stand between the low-rise townscape is a common scenery which they can see anywhere in Taiwan, even in the small local cities. But Lukang is an special town which has a possibility of growth not by contemporary development but by townscape protection which inducts tourism, specially for the long term.

I hope that Lukang doesn't repeat the failure of Japanese small local towns where the municipality corresponded to motorization and easing of the restrictions, and, as the result, the historical townscape was destroyed, nonetheless, the town spread to the suburb and the downtown lost the power not only in commerce or business but also in tourist attraction.

It is still not late for Lukang.

Explanation of Photos

1.Old townscape district:It was a district by immigrant from Continental China. Now. as the result of the protection program for the townscape, it changes in the shop for tourist and becomes an big tourist spot.

2. Nine turn lane : Compared with the old townscape district, they can see an atmosphere of the usual life by locals here.

3. Breast-touching lane : It is a narrowest street in Lukang. Besides, the distance of the lane is also very long and the naming is characteristic. Therefore, many tourists visit here. I also encountered this name in Makugn in Penghu Island, so, the name may be used usually in Taiwan

Transportation : Three hours by bus from Taipei, One hour and a half by bus from Taichung, and 40 minutes by bus from Jhunghua.

To Japanese Version

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Old townscape district

Nine turn lane

Breast-touching lane

Photo by Daigo Ishii