In spring of 1945, the United States conducted a military operation Iceberg, better known as the "Battle of Okinawa". The island was badly damaged and was demolished almost to the ground. More than a third of the population of
and a hundred thousand Japanese troop died during 82 days. The number of victims was so great because of the requirement of the Japanese government not to surrender. Even after the renewal of Japan's independence in 1952, Okinawa remained under the control of the US. The islands were in the zone of American occupation until 1972. Currently, more than a dozen US military bases is located in the prefecture. Actually, the occupation of Japan had begun from Okinawa.
The underground headquarters are located near the airport. I decided to go there before my departure. On the Internet, I got to know how to get there from the bus station Naha Bus Terminal / Asahibashi – by bus 55 or 98 in the direction of Tomigusuku Minami. Go about 15 minutes, the ticket costs 2.5 USD (as of 2015), and then another 15 minutes’ walk up the hill. You’d better have a navigator or even a map.
There’s a memorial on top of the hill. This is a landmark, somewhere near the entrance to the shelter.
The rooms were carved by hand, picks and hoes were used.
The tunnels remained intact for many years. In 1970 there was a reconstruction, during which the remains of about 2,400 people were found. Now 300 meters of tunnels are accessible to the public.
The plan has a marked commander room, the officer’s room, some signal room and code room, operations room, staff room, a medical room and a generator.
On June 13, 1945, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, Admiral Minoru Ota and his entourage officers committed an act of suicide. According to various data, the number of sailors comes to 4,000.
Admiral Ota took his own life in this room.
In the early 1960s, Americans conducted in
tests of biological weapons, spraying fields with pathogenic fungus that causes rice blast disease.
The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance ticket costs about 4.5 USD (as of 2015). The brochure says that you get there from the bus station in 25 minutes, taking the bus number 33, 46 or 101, get off at the stop in front of Tomigusuku Castle Park and go within 10 minutes on foot. The official website is in Japanese. Only this booklet is in English.