Nishi Honganji Square

Ximending & Wanhua

This small park is the site of a former Japanese temple, which was built at the end of the 19th century for the country's military, and which offered medical and spiritual care for wounded and dying soldiers. With the arrival of the KMT in 1949, it was converted into living quarters for Chinese soldiers. A fire in 1975 destroyed the temple, leaving only the shell of the mausoleum and the Rinbansyo, now a lovely teahouse, where the head priest lived.

There's not a lot to see here except a small hillock with a wooden bell tower. The building next to the fleet of steps where the main temple once stood is the Taipei City Archives (open 9am to 5pm weekdays); it has English language materials and a map of the square.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ximending & Wanhua attractions

1. Red House

0.12 MILES

Ximending's most iconic building was built in 1908 to serve as Taipei's first public market. These days it's a multifunctional cultural centre, with…

2. Tianhou Temple

0.17 MILES

This small, atmospheric temple appears from the outside as a narrow, elaborate shopfront in the Ximending area. But walk through the gate and you'll find…

3. Zhongshan Hall

0.25 MILES

This handsome four-storey building, constructed in 1936 for the coronation of Emperor Hirohito, is where the Japanese surrender ceremony was held in…

4. Xiaonanmen

0.26 MILES

Taipei's 5th gate, whose name means Little South Gate, dates back to when the capital was a walled city under the Qing dynasty. It now sits like a lonely…

5. Presidential Office Building

0.29 MILES

Built in 1919 as the seat of the Japanese governor general of Taiwan, this striking building has housed the offices of the Taiwan president since 1949…

6. Taipei Cinema Park

0.39 MILES

This featureless concrete square, with two brick buildings (remnants of former factory buildings) at the northern end – one is a cafe, the other a toilet…

7. Bopiliao Historic Block

0.41 MILES

One of the best-preserved historic sections of Wanhua, Bopiliao covers both Qing and early Japanese-era architecture. Some of the buildings house art…

8. 2-28 Peace Memorial Park

0.48 MILES

Established in 1908, this was the first urban public park in Taiwan built on European models. Known as Taihoku (Taipei) Park under the Japanese, then…