Development and Current Operation

Alishan Forestry Village and Hinoki Village

Historical Development

Alishan is currently an international tourist attraction. Combined with Taiping Mountain and Baxian Mountain, they were also known as the three major forest farms in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period. The starting point of the Alishan Forestry Railway built for exploiting the Alishan Forest Farm's cedar resources was Beimen Station in Chiayi City. The sale and distribution of timber has brought unprecedented prosperity to Chiayi City. At that time, it was listed as one of the four major cities in Taiwan.

Alishan forestry exploitation began in 1899. The government of Japan dispatched a technician, Koike Sanjiro, to survey Alishan. Then, he reported that there were a large number of high-quality coniferous forests in the region, and the ages of most trees were older than a thousand years. The forest resources were abundant, and the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General began to plan and exploit Alishan. In February 1903, the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General appointed Kawai Shitarō, doctor of forestry, to carry out the exploitation of the Alishan forests and the alignment of railway line. In May 1906, the Japanese private enterprise Fujita established the Chiayi Construction Office to kick off the construction of the Alishan Forest Railway. However, due to the arduous project and cost overrun, the construction stopped in February 1908. Then, the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General took over and continued to build the Alishan Forest Railway in 1910. In 1914, the railway was completed, with total length of 71.9 kilometers.

  • Former Alishan Forestry Village

    Former Alishan Forestry Village

  • Former Alishan Forestry Village

    FormerAlishan Forestry Village

In 1912, the main line of the Alishan Forestry Railway from Beimen Station to Erwanping Station was completed and opened. During that period, the scale of the building complex of forestry agencies has been gradually expanded, including the offices of Forestry Bureau, the Forestry Club, the timber factory, and the first thermal power generation building in Southeast Asia, which have been completed one by one. The felled trees were transported to the Chiayi "fir basin" by Alishan Forestry Railway, making the basin the largest timber basin in Southeast Asia at that time. Chiayi was known as the "Timber City" because of the prosperity of forestry. Today's Linsen Road used to be the "Timber Street" at that time, and the surrounding forestry agencies was called "cedar quarter". During that period of time, the life function in the surroundings of the forestry agencies was very convenient because of the prosperity of the timber industry. The forestry village has taken shape.

The Alishan forestry business came to an end in 1964, and the timber industry in Chiayi City has gradually declined since then. The forestry assets of nearly 100 years of history have witnessed the rise and fall of forestry development in Chiayi City, producing special atmosphere as the years went by and becoming a precious forestry cultural asset. However, they are likely to be ruined gradually and must be rejuvenated to allow their grace and glory to reappear. The Forestry Club, the Gonghe Road in Chiayi City, the National Chiayi Forest District Office Residence on Beimen Street, and the former Chiayi Lumber Office (Bamboo Crafts Processing Plant) witnessed the relevant history of exploitation of Alishan forests. They were registered as historic buildings of Chiayi City in 1998 and 2005 respectively. On October 17, 2007, the 3026th Council of the Executive Yuan approved the “Chiayi Railway Station Surrounding Area Urban Renewal Project” as the first priority for promotion, to transform Chiayi City into the “Yunlin-Chiayi-Tainan Arts, Culture and Leisure Center”. In 2009, the Forestry Bureau submitted the "Alishan Forest Village and Hinoki Village Project (2009--2012)". Then, it was included in the "Economic Revitalization Policy-Project to Expand Investment in Public Works", and the approved plan schedule was adjusted to 2009--2011 in September 2009, with the appropriation of NT$ 2,477.7 million. It was also listed as one of urban renewal projects in i-Taiwan 12 Projects--the first phase of the “Urban and Industrial Park Regeneration” and one of the six indicative urban renewal projects.

The first phase of the project was completed in 2011, and the second phase of the project (2012--2016) started for continuing to carry out the reconstruction of historical buildings and preserve the heritage of forest culture in line with local public opinion and expectations, in the hope that the brand new image of the city will give impetus to the overall development of the local area and begin a new chapter for the region, which would transform Chiayi City into a new bright spot on the Tropic of Cancer.

Current Operation

The first phase of the project has completed the restoration of the historic sites listed by the city--the forestry club, two cement brick buildings and 26 Japanese-style wooden structures, and the construction of the agricultural boutique hall in "Hinoki Village" (about 3.4 hectares). The renovation and restoration project won the Yuan Ye Awards, 2014 FIABCI-Taiwan Real Estate Excellence Awards--"Best Environmental Culture--Cultural Assets Restoration and Conservation" category, and the first prize of 2015 FIABCI World Prix d'Excellence Awards--Cultural Assets Preservation category. All of them have affirmed the Forestry Bureau's contributions to historical buildings and the improvement in international visibility. The concession of Hinoki Village (OT) was granted to the Hinoki Village Company Ltd in September, 2013 in accordance with the "Act for Promotion of Private Participation in Infrastructure Projects", integrated with elements such as forestry culture, environmental education, craft design, cultural creativity and life creativity, to build a cultural and creative park based on the theme of “Forest Culture and Creation". From the beginning of operation in January 2014 to December of this year, more than 1.9 million tourists have visited the park. It has become the first stop for tourists to experience the atmosphere of forestry life and culture before visiting Alishan, directly promoting local economic prosperity.

  • The forestry club

    The forestry club

  • Japanese-style wooden structures

    Japanese-style wooden structures

Future Prospect

The completion of Alishan Forestry Village and Hinoki Village has improved the city's appearance, helped tourists explore the profound roots of local culture, continued the historical context, achieved the preservation and heritage of forestry culture, and activated the local economy, to allow the grace and glory of the forestry capital to reappear, bring new experiences to tourists, and promote the overall development of the city. They are the result of cooperation between the Council of Agriculture and the Chiayi Municipal Government and a model of partnership between the central and local governments. In order to introduce the vitality and creativity of private management into public projects to help the government promote public construction and achieve the goal of preserving, revitalizing and reusing forestry cultural assets, the Chiayi Forest District Office of the Forestry Bureau is in charge of the renovation of the historic buildings of the Chiayi Lumber Factory and the preparation of the Promotion of Private Participation in Alishan Forestry Village Project. The results of public constructions of previous projects would be used as a resource, to reproduce the cultural value of forestry and introduce private resources into the development of cultural and creative, tourism, business and other industries, so as to meet the requirement of Chiayi City's urban renewal and development. In the future, the integration of Chiayi County, Chiayi City, Alishan Forest Railway and forestry cultural attractions, couple with the Aogu Wetland Park and the Alishan Tourism Line, will make them become the tourism and sightseeing axis of the Tropic of Cancer from the coast to the mountains. It is also the highlight of forestry culture.

  • Hinoki Village

    Hinoki Village

  • Hinoki Village

Transportation

1.By Car

  1. National Highway No. 1
    Chiayi Interchange (to Chiayi)→Beigang Road→turn left to Bo’ai Road (via Bo’ai Pedestrian Bridge)→turn right to Zhongxiao Road→Linsen E. Road→Destination
  2. National Highway No. 3
    Chuchi Interchange (to Chiayi) →Linsen E. Road→Zhongxiao Road intersection→Destination

2.By HSR

Take HSR to Chiayi Station and transfer other transportation to destination.

3.By Train and Bus

Chiayi Train Station:5 min by motorbike or 20 min on foot (walk along Linsen W. Rd.)

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