Hayashi Department Store

Notable Building in Tainan

This art deco department store from the 1930s has been so beautifully restored that it's worth going in just to ascend the sweeping staircase, peer through the geometrical window openings, and have a ride on the grandma lift with the dial floor indicator. There's even a viewing deck on the top floor where you'll find a Shinto shrine and evidence of the damage it suffered during WWII.

Known locally as Lin's Department Store (林百貨) or Five Stories (五層樓), Hayashi was Tainan's first department store and Taiwan's second when it opened in 1932, and is therefore close to the hearts of older Tainaners. Everyone wanted to ride on its lift even if they couldn't afford the goods. Earnings made by the store were delivered just across the road to the neoclassical Nippon Kangyo Bank, predecessor of the Land Bank. In the 1930s Hayashi was doing so well that locals joked that to bring the money somewhere further away would be too risky. The duo were the cornerstones of Tainan's most affluent area.

Being the tallest building in Tainan brought trouble during WWII. Hayashi was seriously damaged by air raids and the top floor was subsequently used to conduct anti-aircraft warfare. Today the roof is a vantage point for taking good pictures of Land Bank across the road.

Take the Red Line bus heading towards Anping Industrial Park from Tainan Train Station, and get off at Hayashi Department stop.