Japan in Taiwan2

When we first caught sight of these images, we wondered whether we ought to go back and update our recent unusual hot spring resort article. Checking the location of these hot spa resort hotels, though, we soon learned that – despite looking unmistakably Japanese in every way – these hotels are actually situated in none other than Taiwan. And I always thought the British dull for seeking out an English pub as soon as they arrive abroad…

Enormous photo dump after the jump!

We know that Taiwan is a firm holiday favourite for Japanese tourists who shy away from travelling too far out of their comfort zone, but surely this is going a little bit too far? The following three locations feature everything that you’d expect from a stay at a traditional Japanese ryokan spa hotel: tatami floors, zaisu low chairs, koi ponds, food served to your room, and of course the luxurious hot spring baths. With locations like these, we’re not sure why any Taiwanese tourist would bother coming to Japan…

First up is the Iishin Hotel:

The architecture and well maintained fauna scream “Japan” from the moment the taxi pulls up outside. We know that Taiwan had close ties with Japan in the past, but this is as Japanese as you can get. The hotel even has a Japanese water garden and a pond filled with enormous koi carp. Guests are free to enjoy a relaxing hot spa before retiring to their tatami-floored room with sliding shoji doors. Japan in Taiwan1

Japan in Taiwan koi pond

Japan in Taiwan onsenJapan in Taiwan2

Taipei’s Insongaa Hotel continues the theme, but shifts its koi pond to the front of the establishment. Plonk a blindfolded tourist down here and we’d bet our last green rupee that they’d swear they were in Japan!

Japan in Taiwan3

Japan in Taiwan koi pond 2 Japan in Taiwan4 Japan in Taiwan5

The Choantan Hotel, meanwhile, looks fairly ordinary at first glance, but soon transforms into a spa resort worthy of Kyoto itself.

Japan in Taiwan hotel front

Japan in Taiwan bathroom 2

Japan in Taiwan bathroom 1

Kyufun Komachi Hotel even features Japanese cuisine and ornate yukata robes on its bedroom walls.








Situated in the Beitou District of Taiwan, Hotel Villa 32‘s bedrooms are also undeniably Japanese. Check out the crisp white futons on tatami, hanging wall scrolls and the outdoor bath. I have to say, though, these look kind of nice!

villa 32

villa 32 zabuton

villa 32 futons

villa 32 room 1

villa 32 room 2

villa 32 garden

villa 32 outdoor bath

Spa Resort Hotel Jiaoshi‘s red paper lanterns welcome guests to another slice of Japan abroad.





A Japanese tourist submitted the following images of an unnamed Taiwanese hotel along with a single comment: “Japan from head to toe.” With that banquet hall and long, shuttered hallways, we’re inclined to agree!






Thankfully at least one hotel offers at least marginally Taiwanese-looking food. Although it being served to guests at a small table in their room is an unmistakably Japanese touch…


A closer look at some of these hotels’ hot spas shows just much of a Japanese vibe they take on, from the noren curtains to the pre-bathing showers with tiny stools.


spa shower

spa shoes off

spa his and hers

And some of these water gardens are, dare I say it, grander than Japan’s own hotels’…

water garden

water garden 3

water garden 2

And, you know what? Even if these hotels are “imitation Japanese”, some of these hot baths look fantastic!

onsen 2

onsen 3

onsen 4  onsen

onsen 9

onsen 10

onsen 5

onsen 6  onsen 8

onsen 7

Well, perhaps not all of them. Is that a clothes line standing to the side of this extremely murky pool?

maybe not all of them

And of course, there’s always beautiful Jiufen for those seeking that Spirited Away vibe…

Taiwan Ghibli inspiration

It’s funny- I began this post feeling rather British and cynical as usual, but having gazed upon the vast number of Japanese style onsen hotels Taiwan has to offer, and when I consider the price of travel and accommodation within Japan these days, I think I might have just convinced myself to make Taiwan my next holiday destination. Now all I need to do is get my wife on side…

Source: Harezou