The Japanese Ammunition Cave and ruins

Driving along Gaze Road toward the casino site and just past the old hospital (now holiday accommodation) is a small ruin set into the steep hillside on the right. It is so easy to miss as it blends into the undergrowth and hillside. It’s not very large and from the roadside you would never know what it is hiding.

 

As you enter through this little roofless ruin there is a surprise waiting. It hides a large dug out cave stretching back into the hillside. This was a Japanese ammunition storage cave. The atmosphere is very still inside. The sound of the occasional car passing by on the road outside is muffled. It feels like time has stopped in there. And, to stand for a few minutes in silence thinking of those Japanese soldiers, perhaps working, sitting down smoking, taking their orders; to stand on the spot where they once stood, is a feeling I can’t describe in words.

I made a 3 minute video tour. It was my first filming experience and next time I know to film in landscape. But, if you want to get a feeling for this historic site then it is well worth to watch.

Update! Since writing about this unique ruin and cave, 19 Japanese World War II sites were located on Christmas Island by archaeologist Helena van der Riet in 2018. There are possibly more. Read her thesis (pages 175-185) to find out more about this particular site and why she believes that it may in fact pre-date World War II (pages 66-68).