MagazineFeb 9, 2015
Abandoned World War II Japanese Tunnel System by Chris Luckhardt
The Japanese Tunnels are a series of underground bunkers and passageways built by the Japanese during World War II in order to store and move soldiers and weapons across the island out of reach of Allied bombings. Photographer Chris Luckhardt visited such an abandoned World War II Japanese tunnel system. More info below the pictures.
Chris Luckhardt is a Canadian photographer who specializes in photographing abandoned places around the world. See more of his photography on Facebook and Instagram.
See also these series by Chris on TCP: Abandoned Hashima Island, Rural Abandonments, Urban Exploring in Detroit , The Bethlehem Steel North Office and Capture the Night.
During the Second World War, the United States Navy executed sporadic air raids in the Yokosuka area 65km south of Tokyo. One major air raid, which was called the Dolittle Raid, was retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbour. Photo by Chris Luckhardt. /
These air raids prompted the Imperial Japanese Army to create a protectively secret tunnel system deep underground throughout the region. Photo by Chris Luckhardt. /
Conservative estimates calculate the intricate tunnel system as spanning at least 27km. The structure included more than 20 individual tunnel and cave networks. Photo by Chris Luckhardt. /
Some segments of the tunnel system were designed to accommodate a 500-bed hospital, a sizable power generating facility, numerous warehouses and even a submarine factory. Photo by Chris Luckhardt. /
This particular section of tunnels, in the southern area of Yokohama (六浦地下軍需工場), was used as a munitions factory and warehouse. The tunnel depth is approximately 75 feet and, due to the main entrance being sealed, is only accessible via an increasingly dark and claustrophobic crawl space with a flimsy rubber hose as the lone downward support. Photo by Chris Luckhardt. /
The tunnels are shrouded in total darkness, their air is filled with thick particulate, the floors are often muddy and the ceilings are covered with seemingly thousands of poisonous Mukade (ムカデ) centipedes. Photo by Chris Luckhardt. /
There aren’t many artifacts remaining in the tunnels; just a few dishes, unidentifiable metal objects and random pieces of trash are scattered throughout. Our small team of explorers decided to experiment with light painting to compensate for the lack of interesting objects to photograph. Photo by Chris Luckhardt. /