Nowadays, Ximending is where teenagers and twentysomethings hang out in the evenings and at weekends, shopping in the boutiques, eating in the cafes, going to the cinema and generally enjoying themselves. It's a subculture and Japanese culture hub and one of the most important consumer districts in Taipei.
We went to Ximending recently because there is a shop called Shooting Stars, where you can shoot pellet guns (BB guns?) at targets. My son loves this kind of thing -- especially when they have zombies.
If you're looking for somewhere quiet and peaceful, an escape from the crowds and noise, Ximending is not the place for you. But in the right frame of mind, I enjoy its pace and buzz.
And, as is often the case in Taipei, there is always something bizarre going on.
Ximending's pedestrianised area was the first in Taipei and is the largest in Taiwan, and the pubs and clubs ensure it's busy until the early hours of the morning. The best time to visit to avoid the crowds is before lunch, while typical Ximendingites are still sleeping off their hangovers.
We got to Ximending on the blue MRT line, alighting at Ximen Station. Plenty of buses also pass through. The next time I feel in need of full immersion in Taiwanese youth culture, I'll be back for another fix.