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Walk into Nature
			Explore its Ecology
Walk into Nature Explore its Ecology
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Alishan Forestry Village and Hinoki Village

  • Alishan Forestry Village and Hinoki Village

Alishan is an internationally renowned tourist attraction, and during the Japanese Occupation it was listed as one of Taiwan’s “Big Three” forest management areas along with Taipingshan and Basienshan. The Alishan Forest Railway, beginning at Beimen (the North Gate) of Chiayi City, was built to help harvest Alishan’s cypress wood. The wholesale and distribution business of the cypress wood led to Chiayi’s unprecedented prosperity. At that time, Chiayi was classified as one of Taiwan’s four largest cities.
  • History & development

    Alishan is an internationally renowned tourist attraction, and during the Japanese Occupation it was listed as one of Taiwan’s “Big Three” forest management areas along with Taipingshan and Basienshan. The Alishan Forest Railway, beginning at Beimen (the North Gate) of Chiayi City, was built to help harvest Alishan’s cypress wood. The wholesale and distribution business of the cypress wood led to Chiayi’s unprecedented prosperity. At that time, Chiayi was classified as one of Taiwan’s four largest cities.
     
    Alishan’s forestry industry began in 1899 when Japan dispatched technician Koike Sankuro to inspect the Alishan area. Koike sent a report back, suggesting that this area had a great number of high-quality conifers, and that most of the trees were more than a thousand years old.  Knowing that the area provides resources ripe for development of a forestry industry, the Governor-General of Taiwan began to make plans. In February 1903, the Government-General entrusted forestry expert Kawai Shitaro with the mission of exploiting Alishan forests and establishing foundations for a railway. In 1906, Japanese company Fujita Group founded a construction office in Chiayi, and began building the first sections of the Alishan Forest Railway. However, engineering challenges and growing financial overspend led to a halt of the work in February 1908.  In 1910, the Governor-General of Taiwan took the project back, and construction of the Alishan Forest Railway resumed. By completion in 1914, the railway already stretched to 71.9 kilometers in length.
     
    In 1912, work on the main section of the Alishan Forest Railway from Beimen to Erwanping was complete, and soon it started receiving railway traffic. The industry’s organization buildings were also being built, including the government’s forestry agency offices and residences, the Forest Agency Club, and the Chiayi Lumber Processing Plant. Work on South-East Asia’s first wood-burning power building was also complete. Felled trees were transported to Chiayi’s “Cypress Pool,” the largest log storage pool in South-East Asia at the time, via the Alishan Forest Railway. On account of the flourishing forestry industry, Chiayi was hailed as the “wood town”, and today’s Linsen Road was also known as the Wood Street. The area where all the forestry institutions stood acquired the name of “Kuai Ding,” meaning “the Cypress District.” As the industry expanded, it became more convenient for work and living. Such was the formation of the forestry village.
     
    In 1964, Alishan’s forestry work began to shrink, and as a result Chiayi’s lumber manufacturing entered into a gradual decline. The century-old forestry buildings bear witness to the rise and fall of Chiayi’s forestry industry. With the passage of time, the village’s distinctive style has become more striking, and today they are viewed a precious cultural asset which reflects the area’s industrial past. Because the buildings have slowly crumbled, refurbishment is necessary, so as to bring back to life the historical magnificence of the place.
     
    Again, the Forest Agency Club, the state-owned family dormitories situated on Gonghe Road and Beimen Street, and the Chiayi Lumber Processing Plant which includes an auxiliary bamboo handicraft processing plant, are testament to Alishan’s forestry industry. In 1998 and 2005, they were officially registered as Chiayi’s historic sites.
     
    On October 17, 2007, the 3,062nd sitting of the Executive Yuan ratified the Chiayi City Train Station Area Urban Plan as a priority project, and set Chiayi as the art, culture and tourism hub of the Yunchianan Region. In 2009, the Forestry Bureau announced the Alishan Forestry Village and Hinoki Village Plan (2009-2012). Later in September 2009 this plan was listed as part of the “2009-2011 Economic Revival and Public Construction Investment Plan,” which has a total fund of TWD 2.477 billion. Further on, the Alishan Forestry Village and Hinoki Village Plan stood alongside 12 other urban and industrial regeneration projects on the first phase of the Executive Yuan’s “Love Taiwan” renewal plan. It was among the central government’s six specially listed regeneration projects. 
     
    The first stage of the plan drew to an end in 2011, and a second phase was carried out between 2012 and 2016. Work on restoring historical buildings continues. By securing the perpetuity and transmission of forestry culture and adhering to locals’ feelings and expectations, a brand new city image, which shall bring to the area overarching development and new opportunities, was born. Such shall eventually enable Chiayi City to turn over a new leaf and become one of the Tropic of Cancer’s newest hotspots.

  • Current operations

    The first phase of the plan led to completion of renovation of historical buildings in the Hinoki Village, which has a total area of around 3.4 hectares. This includes restoration of the Forest Agency Club, two cement and brick buildings, and 26 Japanese-style historical wooden houses. A center which displays fine agricultural products was also newly built. The restoration project received the Architectural Landscape Award, and at the 2014 Outstanding Building Awards, it received a prize for Best Cultural Restoration Project. Further recognition at the 2015 Outstanding Building Awards is testament to the hard work of the Forestry Bureau in restoring these historical buildings. These awards also help to garner attention from the international community. In September 2013, the Hinoki Village was incorporated as the Hinokoi Village Corporation under the Executive Yuan’s OT (operate-transfer) funding model. The village combines elements of forestry culture, environmental education, arts and crafts design, cultural creativity, and lifestyle creativity. Highlighting forestry culture, from formal opening in January 2014 until December 2015, the park has received more than 1.9 million visitors. It becomes the number one spot for visitors to Alishan to experience forestry culture and lifestyle, while boosting the region’s economy.

  • Future prospects

    The Alishan Forestry Village and Hinoki Village have not just improved the city’s appearance. They have tapped into the area’s deep cultural reservoir, perpetuated the area’s historical fabric, and ensured preservation and transmission of tangible forestry culture to future generations.  They have also helped to develop the economy and reconstructed all that is magnificent about the forestry industry. Of course, they have given new experiences to tourists and promoted the development of an entire town. They are the work of the Council of Agriculture and Chiayi City Government, as well as a success story of relationship-building between central and regional governments.
     
    The Chiayi Forest District Office is now refurbishing the Chiayi Lumber Processing Plant. It is also getting prepared for the “Project for Promoting Public Participation and Investment in the Alishan Forestry Village,” so as to encourage the private sector to share their managerial and creative insights, eventually helping the Office to better preserve, revitalize and reuse historical forestry buildings through public projects. By doing so, the Office expects to secure resources not only for promoting forestry culture, but also for boosting the cultural industry, the tourism sector, and hotel businesses, to cater to Chiayi’s urban renewal and development needs. In the near future there will be a network connecting up all of Chiayi’s forest railway facilities, forestry culture sites and tourist spots, especially the Aogu Wetland Park. This shall make Alishan one of the Tropic of Cancer’s finest tourism zones running from coast up to high  mountain, in addition to providing a snapshot of forestry culture.

Basic Info
Address
  • Hinoki Village: No.1 Linsen E. Rd, East District, Chiayi City
  • Alishan Forestry Village: No.4 Linsen W. Rd, East District, Chiayi City
Coordinates X: 193952, Y: 2598271
Tel
  • Hinoki Village: +886-5-2761601
  • Alishan Forestry Village: +886-5-2787006
Email a0055@forest.gov.tw
Responsible unit Chiayi Forestry District Office, Forestry Bureau
Elevation 25m
Area
  • Hinoki Village: 3.40 hectares
  • Alishan Forestry Village: 13.64 hectares
Opening hours
  • Alishan Forestry Village
    • Outdoor space: Open all day.
    • Power Room : Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Opening hours: 08:00~16:30 (Since January 1st 2016, the room has been closed temporarily due to renovation). 
  • Hinoki Village
    • Outdoor space: Open all day.
    • Indoor exhibition halls: 10:00~18:00.
Transport info
  • By car

    From National Highway 1, get off at Chiayi Interchange and drive toward Chiayi. Go straight to Beigan Road (Country Road 159), turn left for Boai (Provincial Highway 1), cross Boai Bridge and turn right for Zhongxiao Road. Go straight to Linsen East Road to reach the destination.

    From National Highway 2, get off at Zhuqi Interchange. Take Linsen E. Rd. toward Chiayi and go straight to Zhongxiao Road Entrance to arrive at the destination.

  • By train or bus

    Get off at Chiayi Train Station - 
    Walk along Linsen W. Rd and you shall arrive at the destination in approximately 20 minutes.
    You may also take taxi. This will only take 5 to 6 minutes to arrive at the destination.
    Rent a motorcycle and take Linsen W. Rd. In 10 minutes you shall see the destination.

Visit counts:1413 Last updated on:2017-01-23