Japanese Tunnel in Davao - Philippines
There are several historical landmarks in Davao, but few have captured the public imagination quite like the Japanese Tunnel.
Although there are several of these tunnels in Davao, the most famous is the one of the D' Japanese Tunnel Family Resort (Matina Balusong, Diversion Road, Davao City,) For a small amount ($1.25) you will get a guided tour of the famous Japanese Tunnel.
As you approach the tunnel, among the first things that you will see are beautiful statues, including that of a World War II Japanese soldier and a Japanese woman clad in a kimono. Throughout the tunnel you will also find several statues of Japanese soldiers as well.
The Japanese Tunnel itself is not that long per se (only about 300 meters, or a thousand feet), but there are several locations there that can take you farther. However, tourists are not allowed to go there because it is not owned by the proprietors.
Guided by the installed lighting, you will be led by your guide to several steps where you will see the various weaponry, water banker, and offices of the Japanese soldiers. Also, there are several chapels there, including one where a copy of the Golden Buddha can be seen. As you go deeper into the Japanese Tunnel, you will come upon vintage machine guns, bombs, explosives and plenty of ammo and bullets.
Interestingly, there were plenty of gold molders found in the Japanese Tunnel. Whether this meant the soldiers stocked up gold in the tunnel, or were digging for some, is not clear, but certainly adds to the fascination in the area.
There are actually several of these tunnels in the various diversion roads all over Davao City, including Maa and Mintal. The reason for this is that during World War II, the Japanese found the use of tunnels as an effective means of transporting their equipment and mobilizing their forces, as it made it more difficult for the Americans to locate them.
According to the reports, some of these tunnels were long, some going on for several kilometers. Even more, there were also areas where they would crisscross and intersect.
These Japanese tunnels were created using manual labor, and thousands of Filipinos were utilized as slaves to dig and excavate the tunnels. After the war, most of these tunnels were destroyed as the city was rehabilitated. However, a few were preserved and became the tourist spot and historical landmarks they are today.