Hayashi Hyakkaten, commonly called the Lin Department Store (林百貨), is a Japanese era department store that first opened in 1932. Taiwan’s second department store (the first was Kikumoto Department Store in Taipei), re-opened in June this year (2014).
I blogged about the old building before it was re-opened here: Tainan’s Old Lin Department Store (林百貨)
While the store is back to its original function of a department store, the government took pains to keep a cultural heritage theme throughout the newly opened building and shops. As a person who would rather stay out of department stores, I found the store to be surprisingly pleasant (my client needed photos for a magazine quickly so I had to visit on the opening weekend). It was heinously crowded, the lines of people waiting to get in stretched around the block, but once inside I found the store to be elegant and interesting.
The old Japanese era Shinto shrine atop the building, the round windows on the front and the elevator, Taiwan’s second and Tainan’s first, are all defining characteristics of the building.
Ever since I have been in Tainan I can remember the stately building empty, dark and boarded up, it’s nice to finally see bright lights and bustle outside the building. Closed since 1986, it took three years of careful renovation to restore the building to its former glory. The Tainan government put a lot of effort into preserving its original appearance and charm.
William Lai, Tainan’s mayor, says the store will concentrate on cultural and creative merchandise to help promote Taiwan’s cultural and creative industries.
If you visit, look for the bullet holes from the Second World War on the outside wall of the fifth floor which was carefully preserved to show the building’s interesting heritage.
Lin Department store is on the corner of Zhongyi and Zhongzheng Roads — once the poshest shopping district in Tainan. No. 63, Section 2, Zhōngyì Rd, Zhongxi District, Tainan City, 700 (忠義路二段63號)