The "Pine Garden" was built between 1943 and 1944, used to be the office of the Naval Administration. The site neighboring "Broadcasting Bureau" built in May 1, 1944, current site of "Broadcasting Corporation of China" [BCC], Hualien Station and the "coastal Broadcasting Station"(Long Distance Telecommunications Bureau), were recognized as significant features on Meilun Mountains, along with the dense pine woods.
The Pine Garden was recreational retreat for ranking military officials during the Japanese rule. It was said that the site is where the Japanese air fighters were bestowed with Heavenly Emperor wine on the eve of their suicide missions. The Japanese suicidal air fighters were stationed beside South Airport or Peipu Airport, ready for their suicide assignments. South airport is close to Kuanghua Industrial Zone and Pulp Mill today.
In the later stages of WWII, the Japanese government took this site as a key military command center. This was because it was in the estuary of Meilun Creek, overlooking the entire Meilun Creek estuary, Hualien Harbor and the Pacific. While at the site, they could easily dominate the boats on the sea and airplanes landing and taking off at South Airport.
This site was taken over by the Republic of China government in the wake end of WWII, under the charge of the Headquarters of the Army in 1947. Subsequently, it w2as the vacation resort of the American Armed Forces until the United States quit. It was taken over the National Property Bureau in 1977 and was put under the management by the Vocational Advisory Commission for Retired Servicemen once considered selling the site for hotel construction but failed because of a protest from the local community people. On July 13, 2000, the Hualien County Government officially classified it a "Special Historic Attraction Zone". On december 20, 2001, it was officially recognized as one of "Taiwan Top 100 Historic Charms"
Historic Architecture Name: PINE GARDEN
Classification : Building
Location No.26, Shuiyan Rd., Hualien City
Bulletin Date: September 23,2002
Reasons to be designated:
The PINE GARDEN, due to its special role as former military command center, and the fact that the complex is situated in such a unique and scenic environment, with spacious grounds, pine trees and an ocean view, PINE GARDEN deserves to br preserved.
Guide Unit: Council for Cultural Affairs
Taiwan: Hualien County Government
Manufacture Unit: Hualien County Cultural Affairs Bureau
Ownership Unit: Veterans Affairs Commission, Executive Yuan, R.O.C.
Opening Hours: 9:00 - 18:00 (Monday- Sunday: last Admission 17:30)
Closed: Every second and fourth Tuesday of the month(except public holidays)
Address: No. 65, Songyuan St., Hualien City, Hualien County 970,Taiwan
Admission Price For Visitors
Full 50NT General Visitors
Discount 25NT 1. Children above 6 yrs. old under 12 yrs. old
2. Citizens above 65 yrs. old
3. Students with valid student ID
4. Volunteers with Honorable Cards for Voluntary Service
Free -0- 1. Citizens of Hualien County
2. Children under 6 yrs. old
3. Physically or mentally disabled persons & their one guardian or necessary companion.
4. Group visitors tour guides with Certification issued by Bureau of Tourism, Ministry of Communications
*Note that discount tickets or free admission requires a valid ID.
Rules to be followed when visiting.
>> At the whole area
- No Smoking
- No betel nut - means no eating of betel nut because mostly old people in Taiwan esp. the indigenous people eat betel nut or they call it as pinlang.
- No Vehicle Entry
- No running & clamour
- Keep steps on the plank road, Not in the Grass
- No Photography
- No Food and Beverages
- No Pets
- Pls. do not touch the artworks
- Pls. switch your mobile to silent/ vibrate mode
Photo Credit: Hualien Tourist Service Network
As for me, I just experienced the overlooked view from the site. And I took some pictures outside the building because it was not yet opened when I went there. I just passed by there early in the morning. And hope guys this information will help you if you include this in your bucket list in visiting Hualien County, Taiwan, R.O.C.
I have to visit again this area to give you more detailed information..