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.
Location and How to Get There
D’ Japanese Tunnel is located along the South Diversion Road, in Hillcrest Subdivision, Matina Balusong, Davao City. It is about 30 minutes from downtown Davao by car. The resort is hard to miss: a concrete inscription of its name is placed on a steep slope by the hotel rooms. Some tour providers in the city include the tunnel in their itineraries.
However, if you’re visiting the attraction on your own, you can hire a cab from anywhere in the city. Coming from downtown Davao, it should not cost you more than 200 pesos for a one-way trip. It is up to you if you’d want to ask the driver to wait or if you’d rather just wait for another one to come along after you’re done with the tour. Since it is located just outside a subdivision, it is not hard to find a taxi to take you back to the city or your hotel.
The Hotel and Restaurant
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.