A Japanese style village built in 2011 is located near to Xitou Nature Education Area. Xitou Monster Village (溪頭怪物村 or 松林町) attracts more than 200,000 tourists a month. A torii, a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found within a Shinto shrine, stands at the entrance of the village. It symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred. Cute Japanese monster statues are all over this small village and red lanterns hang on the eaves. Restaurants and souvenir shops are named after different kind of Japanese monsters.
During the period of Taiwan under Japanese rule, Kubota (久保田) and Katsuichi Matsubayashi (松林勝一) were close friends and worked together in Xitou. Kubota was Japanese and Matsubayashi was Taiwanese (in that period, all locals were forced to use Japanese name). Their friendship lasted years even after Japan lost WWII and Kubota backed to Japan. Kubota run a bakery with his wife and tried to make their life better after WWII in Japan. Kubota named the bakery as Matsubayashi Kubota. However, thing didn’t go well. Years later, the bakery was destroyed by fire and his wife was died. Later, Matsubayashi knew about it by mail and sent some money to Kubota. In 1974, Matsubayashi received another mail from Kubota. Kubota mentioned in the mail that he had a wooden sculpture and wanted to give it to Matsubayashi as a present. In the end, they couldn’t meet each other in Japan for one last time. Before Matsubayashi died, he told his descendants to finish his last wish. In 2009, their descendants finally had a chance to make it happen. Now, the wooden sculpture is put in Ming Shan Resort. In order to commemorate their friendship, Ming Shan Resort built this village and named it after Matsubayashi. Meanwhile, a bakery was named after Kubot. In every 10:30 and 14:30, there are many tourists waiting in front of the bakery for the fresh baked bread.