Exploring the Japanese airport bunkers

DRIVING all the way to the Saipan International Airport will give you a view of these dilapidated cement bunkers, some of the grim reminders of Saipan as one of the sites where the bloodiest World War 2 took place over 60 years ago.

I got the chance to explore the bunkers along the Airport Road a few months back with some friends and took the chance to crawl into one to see what the bunkers look like from inside.

I learned from historical accounts in the internet that these bunkers saw a lot of action as taking over the Japanese airport has been one of the first targets of the Americans during the battle of Saipan.

Standing inside the bunker, I tried to imagine how many men had taken shelter in its hard walls as the battle raged on and bullets flew outside. The walls of the bunker bore large holes as it was hit by American tanks.

The airport Japanese bunkers which stand beside the road near a soccer field are among the attractions in the island that draws thousands of tourists each year.

The sentiments however end when your sight lands on the floor of the bunkers where trash including soda cans and food wrappers and other proof of human invasion are scattered.

When you pass by the Airport Road from March to July, the traces of the bloody World War 2 seen through the bunkers are softened by the beauty of the brilliant flame trees in full bloom, a merging of history and nature that creates a scenic merging that would send any photographer’s fingers itching to snap photos. For more of the CNMI’s attractions, visit http://wanderlustontheraks.wordpress.com.

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