This is or was the 淡水神社Tansui Jinja built in 1939. Which was dismantled in 1951 as were most of the 420 jinjas in Taiwan. This site was rebuilt as 台北縣忠烈祠 in 1968. The original gate 鳥居torii was torn down and a Chinese style monument-gate牌樓 erected in its place in 1990. And the stone lanterns (around 20 of them) were salvaged and relocated to 淡水鎮行忠堂.
[Left: 昭和14年6月2日台灣日日新報 reporting the celebration of Tansui Jinja dedication. Click to enlarge.]
At the last stage of the Pacific War, 淡水神社 was the site for many public rallies. It was also used to instill patriotism and to prepare high school students (and others) for Japanization. The history of Tam-Kang High School records the following (quoted from here):
"到 了太乎洋戰爭後，隨著戰況的發展，學校更加強使學生做皇民的信念和決心，每週有板[一世]校長親自主持「必勝鍊成會」，學生也組成「奉公隊」到校外協助民防，救災 演習。到了寒暑假學生還得下鄉參與「勤勞奉仕」，常時的中學生大都前往宜蘭建機場，部份到台北附近築路和煤礦礦坑工作。而淡中較特別的是被分派往水硯頭建 「電探」(雷達) 基地，白日做工，夜宿今水源國小，極為辛苦。到了戰爭末期，日人更將學年由五年縮為四年，以便學生及早投入戰場。隨著戰線的逼近，1945年8月15日，有板校長和學生在淡中聽到昭和天皇的「玉音放送」，得知日本已戰敗無條件投降，此舉也等於宣佈淡江中學日人治校的時代結束。"
The other older jinja in Danshui, 淡水稻荷社 would have been destroyed around the same time as the others, i.e., 1951, leaving only the foundation. Next to it, the 淡水公會堂, occupied by Air Force personnel after 1949, was burned down soon after (but probably not before the destruction of 稻荷社). This explains what had happened to these two buildings.
There were at least two very well-known Japanese artists associated with Danshui: 木下靜涯 (1889-1988) who became a long-time resident, 24 years at 三層厝26番地 (left: a 日盛 by Mr Kinoshita). He specialized in traditional brush-painting and had accepted quite a number of Taiwanese students. And 大久保作次郎 (1890-1973) of Osaka, an oil-painter who spent a few months working out of the 公會堂 and elsewhere in Taiwan (right: 庭の木蔭 by Mr Ookubo).
These sites plus Danshui Golf Course, the Danshui Beach, the Residence of the Customs chief, and the public schools constituted the centers of activities of the Japanese residents of Danshui. After their repatriation in 1945/6, their lives in Danshui did not leave much behind, almost a total blank, in the history books. People's memories, for better or for worse, have survived, but they are gradually fading as well.
There are still some very rare physical reminders in Danshui. The house of one of the mayors of Danshui 多田榮吉, located on 馬偕街19號, is now being preserved (right). It is across the street from the old 淡水公會堂, on the way up to 文化國小Wen-Hua Public School.
Many Danshui-ren still remember this type of Japanese wooden houses, seen mostly in 砲臺埔 area. Another, located near 油車口 (left) was the residence of the then branch manger of the Bank of Taiwan.
Still others also remember their Japanese elementary and high school teachers. The 和楽園 at the 海水浴場 was owned and operated by a very nice Japanese lady. There was also a Japanese midwife who delivered Japanese and local babies alike. These were the known interactions between the Japanese and the locals. It was stand-offish on both sides with a bit of live-and-let-live mixed in, unless enforcement of laws or decrees were involved.
Some who went back to Japan seem to also remember Danshui. A blog worth visiting is 紺碧の海, posted by a Japanese gentleman born in Danshui (in 1940), in which life in Danshui in the 40s is described.