A Japanese tunnel owned by a Chinese? That was my instantaneous impression.
My cousin took us for an extended city tour - ride around town - after our visit at Quiboloy’s Garden of Eden Restored. Since we’re passing by the main highway on our way to the house, we passed by the Japanese Tunnel.
The story was that, the tunnel was discovered during the construction of a hotel which is the one standing on the site, D’Japanese Tunnel Resort and Restaurant. Now, that was very convenient, and convincing.
Starting to build a hotel and ended up with a tourist attraction within the hotel, and that is literally and a classic exemplar of the saying that goes – “hitting 2 birds with one stone”. Some people really have all the luck.
The tunnel was constructed during the WW2 puportedly by prisoners of war, probably captured by Japanese imperial army, for use as tactical hideout by the Japanese forces, as evidenced by several mementos found during the exploration and on display inside the tunnel. As you enter, you’ll immediately feel a change in temperature and ambience. It’s dank, wet, and a bit chilly. Water is dripping from the ceiling, and gushing through the small side canals. It’s a 300 meter deep cavern with statues of Japanese soldiers in uniforms positioned in different corners, some standing, some sitting on chairs. A replica of the legendary Golden Buddha is behind bars in one of the cells. A bit creepy inside if you navigate the place alone, but there is a friendly lady guide who will tour you inside complete with the story and history of the tunnel.
Made me ponder now – what if the Japanese won us from the Americans, and they ruled the Philippines? Perhaps we have a better government? Perhaps Philippines would’ve been a Japanese commonwealth territory? Probably I’ll be speaking Nihongo today, or we.
Comically, right at the entrance to the cave is a statue of a Japanese woman dressed in a traditional kimono with matching umbrella. I thought it ruined the whole authenticity design of the place? A lady in a Japanese military tunnel? A (memoirs of a) Geisha? Or perhaps, as a welcome rep for the visitors, the present time I mean.
If you have enough time (like I do) in Davao City or just passing by along the highway where this site is located, take a break and see the tunnel. But if you have limited time, then it’s an easy miss, Davao has a lot more commendable sights to see.D’Japanese Tunnel Family Resort and Restaurant has a swimming pool too.
Entry Fee to the tunnel = P50
Getting to the tunnel requires that you have your own vehicle or take a taxi as no jeepneys ply the Diversion Rd. It's less than half an hour trip from both Davao airport or the city proper.
Address: Hillcrest Subdivision, Diversion Road, Balusong Matina, Davao City, Philippines
Landline No.: +6382 299 0975 / 298 3705
Google Map Direction: D’Japanese Tunnel Family Resort and Restaurant