JAPANESE TUNNEL: Exploring Davao City’s Recent Past

Name: D’JAPANESE TUNNEL Family Resort and Restaurant
Location: Pan-Philippine Hiwgway, Talomo, Davao City
Activity: Eat, Swim, Tour, Check In

HISTORY
The 300-meter long tunnel was discovered by the landowners while excavating the area in preparation for a hotel’s construction. Passageways, rooms, armaments and other artifacts were discovered inside the tunnel. It was later confirmed that the tunnel was dug out by war prisoners by order of the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War.

The items found inside the tunnel were evidence that it was used by Japanese soldiers to seek cover as they were chased by the American liberating army. The tunnel was also used as headquarters of the country’s erstwhile invaders, with small chambers used as offices and dungeons for prisoners. Vintage guns, explosives and other ammo were also found inside the tunnel, proof that it was also used as an armory.

During the excavation, gold moulders were also found inside the tunnel. This fueled the rumor that the Imperial Army either stored their ever-elusive treasure inside or were digging for gold. No proof whatsoever was found to substantiate these claims but it definitely adds to the mystery of the place.

THE ENTRANCE


THE TUNNEL


ARMOURY


THE GENERAL’S OFFICE


THE DUNGEON FOR THE PRISONERS OF WAR


THE COMPARTMENTS OF WATER BANKERS


THE PRAYER ROOM/CHAPEL


THE CONFERENCE ROOM

For a very cheap entrance rate of P50 (about $1.25), guests can already explore the tunnel through a guided tour (NOTE: the guides are not that knowledgeable and sound like he/she is reading from a script). Standing guard at the entrance of the tunnel are two life-sized statues of Japanese soldiers who seem to welcome visitors into their lair. Several other statues of these soldiers and women garbed in traditional Japanese kimonos can found inside the tunnel.


HOTEL AND RESTAURANT


Those who wish to linger in the area can book any of the rooms at the three-storey hotel. At an affordable rate, guests can already enjoy well-appointed accommodations, wireless Internet access and an outdoor pool. The pool is a popular venue for kids’ parties and small events. The restaurant within the property is making a name for itself as it serves some of the best Japanese, Western, Filipino and Chinese cuisine in the city. There is also a coffee shop that offers a relaxing ambiance and some excellent brews.
This Japanese tunnel in Matina Balusong is only one of the many tunnels discovered in the hilly portions of southern Davao. Due to fast-paced developments in the city in the past few decades, these tunnels have either been filled in or forgotten. Fortunately, the D’Japanese Tunnel Family Resort and Restaurant remains to give every visitor a glimpse of the city’s colorful, albeit frightening past.

HOW TO GET THERE
Located near the end of the Diversion Road in Matina Balusong towards the junction of MacArthur Highway in Matina area, the Resort is easily accessible by public or private transportation, and is only 20 minutes drive from downtown city proper.
MAP:

CONTACT INFORMATION
D’ Japanese Tunnel Family Resort
Hillcrest Subdivision
Diversion Road, Matina Balusong, Davao City
8000 Philippines
Tels +6382 299 0975 | +6382 298 3705

 

 

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