BY ROGER M. BALANZA
There is a place in Davao City where you can both have a taste of the best food the premier city of Mindanao can offer—and a chance to make a trip back to Davao City’s recent past.
D’Japanese Tunnel Family Resort and Restaurant, snugly nestled on a slope in Balusong along the Carlos P. Garcia Highway (South Diversion Road) is both a landmark destination for tourists for its historical value and good food.
A main attraction is the 300-meter Japanese Tunnel, constructed in 1942, a reminder of the Japanese Occupation during World War II.
A guided walk through the deep tunnel is an eerie experience, given stories about the brutality of the war that did not spare the Dabawenyos.
The tunnel, built on forced labor by the locals, served as cover and storage for armaments and soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army. The visitor/tourist is greeted by life-size replicas of Japanese soldiers at the entrance to the tunnel.
Inside there are various weaponry (vintage machine guns, ammos, guns explosives); tables and chairs in what looks like the office or command center of the Japanese soldiers.
There is a chapel with a replica of a huge Golden Buddha, Japanese bank notes and holding cells apparently for captured American and Filipino soldiers.
You get the rare experience for only P50 entrance fee.
The Japanese Tunnel has a 3-storey hotel, a swimming pool and the restaurant now also making waves for good food (Chinese, Filipino and Western cuisine and, of course, Japanese!) and becoming as famous as the tunnel.