Explore history and cross this tour off your Okinawa bucket list!

The dark, narrow tunnels that once served as the headquarters for almost 4,000 soldiers are a grim reminder of the dark times Okinawa went through during WWII. After the war the tunnels lay dormant until 1970, when some of the rooms were opened to the public.

The Memorial Museum is the first thing you see after paying the entrance fee, and it is worth taking your time to look at the displays and pictures. Uniforms, tools for tunnel construction, weapons and daily necessities, such as those for cooking, were all salvaged from the tunnels. They have done a good job providing a lot of information in English, so it is easy to understand the displays.

The 300-meter route through the tunnels allows you to visit a number of rooms, such as the Operations Room, Staff Room, and the Commanding Officers Room. Many are ridden with bullets and grenade damage, particularly in the room where Rear Admiral Ota, the commanding officer of the headquarters, took his own life, along with some of his officers. Some of the other rooms and tunnels are closed to the public, but you can still take a peek.

Though it doesn’t take too long to walk through the entire route – perhaps 20 minutes – anyone with an interest in war history will no doubt find a visit to the tunnels to be a worthwhile one.

Opening hours are 8:30 to 17:00, with an entrance fee of ¥440 for adults and ¥220 for children. If you happen to be there with kids, after visiting the tunnels be sure to take them to the incredibly long roller slides at the Kaigungo Park, right next door.

Opening Hours

Mon – Sun  :  08:30 to 17:00

Navy Underground Headquarters

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Navy Underground Headquarters

236 Tomigusuku, Tomigusuku-shi, Okinawa-ken 901-0241, Japan