Updated: Jun 5, 2022
Across Japan there are many left over ghosts of the past in the form of signs and structures that date back to the late 1800's and up to WWII. These could be anything from railway lines to bridges,tunnels and underground facilities. In the HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto blog page we will cover some of those locations that can be found, often unknown to many, locals and visitors alike, in Kyoto City and suburbs. One such site is the munitions underground facility in Obaku, Uji.
The sign post outside the tunnel entrance, pictured below, states that it was a former army munitions storage facility. It is located at the bottom of Obaku Park, just south of the well known Mampukuji Temple.
The metal sign to the right of the gated and locked tunnel entrance reads that construction on the facility first began in 1875 and gradual improvements were made thereafter. Earthworks were built up around the storage site and a tunnel entrance then put in place. So it would seem that the facility is under Obaku Park. Getting close to the gate and looking inside, pictured below, we can see that a cememnt wall has been put in place so it is impossible to gain entry even if the gates were to be opened. If there is another 'secret' entrance elsewhere remains to be seen, a back entrance perhaps.
The facility was closed at the end of World War 2. The signage was put in place by the Uji City Peace City Promotion Council in 2006 in an effort to not forget these places, to preserve the memory of the war to ensure that 'mistakes of war are not repeated'.
Access - The nearest station to the Obaku Munitions Storage Facility is Obaku JR on the JR Nara Line. It is a ten minute walk from the station to the site and an interesting addition to a visit to Mampukuji Temple.