Welcome to my Taiwan Inspired Totoro and Spirited Away Artwork blog! We traveled all over Taiwan in October visiting Tainan, Taichung, Sun Moon Lake, Taipei, Jiu Fen (九份) and Hualien. My favorite place on our Taiwan trip was visiting Jiu Fen, which transported us to a Spirited Away film with narrow alleyways all lit up with romantic red lanterns and it's known for it's great street food and snacks. Taiwan seems to have the largest collection of Studio Ghibli merchandise outside of Japan; I was able to find Totoro and Spirited Away character magnets, keychains, plushes, and purses everywhere in the Hinoki Village and mall in Taichung, Taipei, and Jiu Fen. You can see the remnants of Japanese influence all over Taiwan from the buildings in Jiu Fen, Hinoki Village in Taichung, Studio Ghibli stores, roads, bridges and dams built in Taroko Gorge by the Japanese who occupied the island for 100 years from 1895-1945 and brought infrastructure improvements to the island. We enjoyed seeing the lively crowds and eating at the delicious food stands at the Shilin Nightmarket (士林夜市) in Taipei. I loved seeing the beautiful delicately hand carved jade cabbage and all the Chinese jade carvings and porcelain cups at the National Palace Museum. We hiked about 3 miles in the beautiful Taroko Gorge, which has the bluest water and striated pattern rocks. We were able to see the eastern beaches in Hualien driving through green tropical mountains with blue ocean views. We took a boat ride to Sun Moon Lake and a gondola to the aboriginal village on a clear day and learned about the natives way of life and culture. We also visited the beautiful Lavender Cottage in Taichung where we tried delicious lavender milk tea and ice cream. We enjoyed going to cool trendy places in Taichung with lots of plants and local artisans called 酉5PM.TWCAUDEX and Shenji. Taiwan has been a beautiful country with kind people who always lent a helping hand or chatted with us along our trip. I highly recommend visiting this beautiful country full of natural tropical landscapes, delicious food, and rich culture and especially if you are a Studio Ghibli fan.