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Ximending
Ximending ( Taiwanese POJ: Se-mn̂g-teng; Romaji: Seimon-chō; sometimes Ximenting) is a neighborhood in the Wanhua District of Taipeimarker, Taiwanmarker. The historical spelling of this area was Hsimenting, which is based on the Wade-Giles romanization of Mandarin Chinese. The use of the character 町 is unusual in a Chinese context; It is a chō (a part of a ward) in the Japanese municipality system.

Ximending in Taiwan usually refers to Ximending in Wanhua District, Taipei City. This area is in the northeastern part of Wanhua District in Taipei City and it is also the most important consumer district in the Western District of Taipei. The well-known Ximending Pedestrian Area was the first pedestrian area built in Taipei and is the largest in Taiwan. Ximending generally refers to the area surrounded by Zhonghua Road, Kangdingmarker Road, Hankou Street, and Chengdumarker Road.

Access

Since many bus lines gather in Zhonghua Road, Ximending is also an important area for bus transfers.

Ximending is also accessible via exit 6 of Taipei Metro Ximen Station (Bannan Line and the future Songshan Line).

The trendy shopping district of Ximending is a popular gathering place for young people.

The name

The Ximending Pedestrian Area is named after the administrative division Seimon-chō (西門町), which existed during Japanese rule. The area of Seimon-chō included modern-day Chengdu Road (成都路), Xining South Road (西寧南路), Kunming Street (昆明街), and Kangding Road (康定路). However, today the Ximending Pedestrian Area not only includes Seimon-chō but also Wakatake-chō (若竹町) and Shinki-chō (新起町).

The origin

The name of Ximending was derived from its position outside the west gate of Taipei City. In the beginning during Japanese rule, Ximending was an area of wilderness, through which there was a road connecting the west gate of Taipei to the town of Bangka. Later, the Japanese decided to follow the example of Asakusa in Tokyo to set up an entertainment and business area. The earliest entertainment facilities constructed included the Taihokuza in 1897, Eiza (now called New Wanguo Market) in 1902, and the Red House Theatermarker in 1908.

Theater street

Ximending at night
Ximending became a well-known theater street in Taipei in the 1930s and grew even more prosperous after the defeat of Japan. In the 1950s, every theater was full to capacity and scalpers ran wild. Gradually, more theaters opened one after another; At one point, Wuchang St Section 1 had over ten theaters. However, in the 1990s, as Taipei City developed toward the Eastern District and away from Ximending, it began to lose business. In 1999, the city government and local stores established Ximending as a pedestrian area, prohibiting the entrance of vehicles on weekends and national holidays, a move that attracted young consumers and brought back business. Today, Ximending has over twenty theaters and six thousand vendors, and is a popular area for small concerts, album launches, and street performances.

Popularity

Ximending attracts an average of over 3 million shoppers per month. It has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei. The local bookstores sell Japanese magazines, books, CD albums, and clothing, making it a haven for the "Harizu", or Japanese culture adorers. Individual vendors gather in the streets as well as the large business buildings, such as Wannien Department Store and Shizilin Square in the early days, and Wanguo Department Store and Eslite 116 in the later period.

Due to the density of young people, Ximending is comparable to Shilin Market and the Eastern District to be areas with the highest crime rates. In addition, Ximending is well-known for student prostitution.

References




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