Ximending Youth Shopping District 西門町
The "Harajuku" of Taipei, this pedestrian shopping haven is one of the city's culture centres, hosting a massive variety of fashion clothing shops, eclectic restaurants, clubs, and bars.
Located just west of Taipei Main Station in the historic Wanhua District, Ximending was founded during the Japanese colonisation era as a recreation district, and today has grown into a cultural icon with inspiration drawn from its Japanese roots.
One of the most popular destination for tourists, the Ximending Pedestrian Area is the centre of the district, and accessible from Exit 6 of Ximen Station. The area is very popular with tourists and Taipei youth, and, along with shopping and restaurants, also hosts street performances and exhibitions.
The words Ximen (西門) stand for west gate, as the district is located by the historic western gate of the old Taipei City.
The historic Red House Theater is the main LGBT district in Taipei, with the outdoor area surrounding the theatre home to a large array of bars, shops, and meeting places. The area's bars have a reputation for serving excellent drinks and welcome all patrons.
Popular restaurants in the area include Modern Toilet and Ay Chung Rice Noodles (阿宗麵線).
There are many hair salons in this area offering the famous Taiwanese-style head wash and massage services.
The names Ximen and Ximending both refer to the same location, as the final 町 dīng is a Japanese character referring to the word district, while Ximen means west gate. The area also may be referred to as Ximen Walking Area.
Taipei also has an "east gate", Dongmen (東門), home to Yongkang Street (永康街) and an "east district", Dong Qu (東區).
On older signage and materials, Ximending may be spelled as Hsimenting.