In just 45 minutes, Taipei Metro Tamsui Line will take you north from Taipei Station to Tamsui, the end of the line. A great expanse of water awaits you as you exit the station. That is Tamsui River - Tamsui meaning freshwater. Rising above the shore of the river is Mt. Kuanyin. The wooden river walkway is different and pleasant. I've been to Tamsui before. I took a bus from Tamsui to Chinshan.
In Tamsui, I walked through downtown Tamsui to Hong Mao Cheng (castle of the red haired barbarians), or San Domingo Fort and Mission built by the Spaniards 350 years ago.
I dropped into Tamsui Tourist Bureau to pick up a brochure of the new attraction. It was not available yet as I expected. (Upon returning home, I found that Tamsui Peace Park/Ittekisui House was already introduced on Facebook by the Tamsui Government. The official opening was March 2011).
Peace Park was a little further north of Hong Mao Cheng and down below the Hobe Battery Park built during the Qing Dynasty days. The Peace Park is also contiguous to the Taiwan Golf Course through a cluster of trees.
I took a taxi this time. The taxi turned right in less than one kilometer after Hong Mao Cheng. The taxi driver pointed at the Peace Park signboard.
The Google site map I looked up on my PC seemed accurate and I was afraid of a long walk. Actually, the park was not that large. I had an inclination to compare it to the Japanese Garden in San Diego, California, which I was deeply involved with while living there in the 1980s. I figured 5 acres and my estimate was just about correct. I found the land measured 19,580 square meters.
The garden project has just started with a small dry garden, stone lanterns, young trees and some greens. It may easily take 10 to 15 years for it to develop into a full scale Japanese Garden with the help of garden architects and gardeners. I noted many Taiwan photographers have already visited and been blogging about it, including those who had shot newlyweds there. I saw a plethora of wedding photographers at Hong Mao Cheng site. Ittekisui will need to try real hard to catch up with Hong Mao if they intend to compete.
I saw two volunteers busily acting as visitor's guides inside the Ittekisui House. I asked how many volunteers are registered and the answer was 1300 so far.