Surprisingly, it is possible to take a weekend trip to Taiwan from Tokyo. My flight left at 9:30am from Haneda airport and it arrived at 12:21pm at Taipei Songshan Airport. After checking into the PALAIS de CHINE HOTEL, I walked around Taipei Station.

Dihua Street near Taipei Station

Near Taipei Station, 迪化街 (Dihua Street) has the mixture of both modern and nostalgic atmosphere.

It was right before spring festival, Chinese New Year, so the street was packed with people walking at slow pace. But, it was fun to see Taiwanese people and stores that were selling seasonal goods.

迪化街 Dihua Street

迪化街 Dihua Street

If you get tired of crowds, you can escape to narrow roads where you will encounter much calmer scenes.

Off-street

Off-street

Snacks at a local noodle shop

I found a noodle shop with lots of local people at 16:00. The owner, who was the father, cooked noodles and his daughter took orders from tourists in English. There were many kinds of noodles and soups, so I just ordered the same as those who had ordered before me. This is always a safe and reliable way to order food.

Sea food noodle

Sea food noodle

Best fruit juices at a fruit shop

After a long walk, I rested with fruit juices at 豐味果品 (flavor) which has a long history as a fruit shop with a sophisticated atmosphere, like a florist.

Orange juice

Orange juice

Handmade steamed buns at Din Tai Fung

For dinner, I went to 鼎泰豊 (Din Tai Fung) to eat 小籠包 xiaolongbao (eastern Chinese steamed buns). There are many cooks who create soup dumplings at tremendous speed.  

Creating soup dumplings

Creating soup dumplings

Mine was a crab soup dumpling with crab’s mark.

Crab soup dumpling

Crab soup dumpling

My recommendation is to try grilled dumplings, though. My friend’s daughter from the U.S. was so impressed that she ordered a second serve of grilled dumplings in Taipei. I totally agreed with her.

Grilled dumplings

Grilled dumplings