I did a walking tour of a lot of Central Tainan just to the west of the train tracks the other day. I started from the train station and probably covered a good couple of miles.
My first stop was the weather station. The OLD weather station. It's in great shape, but according to the Bradt Taiwan Travel Guide, it was built by the Japanese government in 1898. That's just three years after the Japanese took control of Taiwan, and a pretty impressively old building for an island prone to earthquakes and typhoons.
This is the former Tainan City Hall. It was built by the Japanese in 1916, and was used as a government office until 1997. In a wonderful display of how to put a public building to new use, the building has been turned into the Taiwanese Museum of Literature. It's a free museum, and it has a reserve-only library located inside. Despite the subject matter making it sound like something that would only appeal to Chinese speakers, they did a good job of connecting the evolution of literature in Taiwan with its history, and most of the signs are translated into England and Japanese. This is a good museum.
I liked this big tree in the middle of the traffic circle.
The Nationalist symbol is a little controversial. The south of Taiwan tends to be more pro-Taiwanese, pro-formal-independence, and anti-KMT. Because this symbol was added later, and because it is the symbol of a political party that many people in Tainan don't like much, there were calls to remove it once Taiwan democratized and ended its one-party rule by the KMT. However, calls for historical preservation won out and the symbol remains. It's a sun, by the way, and it's also on the Republic of China (Taiwan) national flag.
"What's the matter?"
"It's inside the fort! What are we gonna do? Shoot our own walls? I told you we should have gone with the other guy my cousin recommended."
"You mean the one who installed the moat on our summer castle so that it ran right through our kitchen?"