Japanese Bunker, The Legacy Of World War II

The Japanese bunker in the town of Bukittinggi was built by Indonesians under forced labor for the Japanese soldiers who occupied Indonesia from 1942 to 1945. This 1,470 meter long underground bunker is 40 meters below Ngarai Sianok (Sianok canyon). There are 21 tunnels in the bunker which were used to store ammunition, as residences, meeting rooms, the Romusha (forced labourer) dining room, kitchen, prison, hearing room, torture room, espionage room, ambush room, and the escape gate. Exploring this complex burrow of tunnels and caves is a real adventure.

You can see how these this place made an effective fortress. The tunnels are three meters in diameter and have walls so thick that sounds cannot be heard from the outside. The tunnels cover a vast area, nearly two hectares, and have six doors. One door is located in Panorama Park while others access Sianok village in the Ngarai Sianok ravine.

Japanese Bunker
Japanese Bunker (Source : indonesia-heritage.net)


West Sumatra is famous for its spicy and fragrant Padang cuisine. Panorama Park has only a few stores selling food and drinks. Outside this area, there are restaurants selling Kapau rice.

Since it is located within Bukittinggi city, visitors can choose hotels with appropriate facilities downtown so they could walk to Panorama park.

The Japanese bunker is located at Panorama Park in Bukittinggi. Visitors may stay in hotels with proper facilities down town. Visitors can also walk from their hotels to this park.


Walking down into the Japanese bunker can be a challenge with some narrow spaces to squeeze through. While originally it would’ve been very dark and cold these tunnels today now have lamps and proper ventilation.

Japanese Bunker
Japanese Bunker (Source : travel.dream.co.id)

Most of these tunnels will soon have rooms to display photographs, a museum of struggle, and a mini theater. At the entrance gate, visitors can see a map of this bunker and each tunnel now has information boards about its functions. This bunker also has CCTV cameras.


The entrance to the Japanese bunker is located in Panorama Park, where you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of Ngarai Sianok.

This Park is about 1 km away from the Bukittinggi city center. Visitors can use private cars or sado/andong (public carriage) from the city center to this Park while enjoying the cool air of Bukittinggi.

From Minangkabau international airport, you can take a rented car or minibus to Bukittinggi. You can find the minibus at the exit gate of the airport at Simpang Ketaping. Distance from Padang to Bukittinggi is 90 km.

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