August 11, 2019

Japanese Tunnel in Basco, Batanes: A Piece of History Tucked Underneath

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  • There’s a piece of history tucked underneath the lush greenery of Batanes, telling the story of World War II and the Japanese occupation in the country.

    Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel, made of volcanic rocks and cement, served as a shelter for Japanese soldiers when they arrived in Batanes in 1941. 

    Also read: Batanes 4-Day Itinerary: Experiencing Heaven’s Beloved Island

    Remember to read the signage before entering the tunnel

    From 1941 to 1945, the soldiers ordered the Ivatans to dig the tunnel, creating five exit points, chambers, bunkers, and water reservoir. The bunker served as their lookout spot while in battle with the Americans.

    The tunnel, meanwhile, is 250-meter long and has a lower deck chamber. 

    Also read: North Batan Island, Batanes: The Center of Local Livelihood and Breathtaking Landscapes

    Be careful as the tunnel can be very slippery especially when it’s raining

    Inside, you’ll find nothing but rocks, small holes, and shattered tunnel walls. Some entrance points have cement above to protect the tunnel from the bombings during the war.

    Also read: South Batan Island, Batanes: A Rustic Harbor of Pasturelands and Fishing Communities

    The tunnel is dark inside so make sure to follow the guide

    For safety, tourists are encouraged not to enter the tunnel without a tour guide and a torch or flashlight.

    Japanese Tunnel is a part of the 4 days, 3 nights tour with Batanes Travel and Tours, Inc.

    Also read: Sabtang Island, Batanes: Home of Heritage Villages With Centuries’ Worth of History

    How to get here

    • By car: From Basco Town Proper head north toward Contra Costa Rd., continue to La Fuenta St., and turn left to National Rd. Continue straight. Japanese Tunnel is on the left side.

    This first appeared in Philippine Primer’s Japanese and English Magazine August 2019 issue.

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