Studio Ghibli’s visually stunning animated movie Spirited Away has long been this writer’s personal favourite. The mountain region of Jiufen, situated just 30 kilometres from Taiwan’s capital city, is where creator Hayao Miyazaki drew much of his inspiration for the film, reported NAVER. The anime is an Alice in Wonderland-style adventure, the enchanting characters, the enormous, bustling bathhouse and of course the piles of mouth-watering food have had viewers going back to the movie time and time again since its release in 2001. It’s little wonder, then, that Miyazaki sought the place out as a source of inspiration for the uncanny, other-worldly, setting for his story to take place in.Lined with food stalls, the streets of the mysterious town Chihiro and her family stumble upon at the beginning of the film are believed to be based on Jiufen’s own downtown areas. The numerous red paper lanterns and long, winding alleys are though to have been sketched by Miyazaki during a trip to the island while Spirited Away was still in early development stages.The masses of tourists aside, there are dozens of locations around Jiufen’s downtown areas that remind us of the animated classic. The narrow streets and steep stone steps featured in the movie are trod upon by thousands of tourists each year, while ornate decoration and awnings no doubt seem familiar to those who have never visited the place before in their lives. Fans certainly have a lot to thank this town for.