In December I was contacted on Instagram by a Reuters reporter who was going to be in Taiwan for the Taiwanese Presidental election. She was wondering if I knew of any old war buildings around Kaohsiung. She was writing an article about them in Taiwan and wanted to know of some around Kaohsiung. I knew of a few places and was happy to help.
It was really great to see a photojournalist at work and I was also happy to show someone around some places that I think are cool and not totally known about that much. Here is the article that I had very, very little to do with. But some of the photos from my tour made it into the finished article.
We agreed to meet on January 1st and here’s the trip.
The first stop was Leidishan Natural Park 漯底山 in Mituo District 彌陀區. It was a military base overlooking the Taiwan Strait. The military left in the mid-90s and thankfully the army left a lot of the war things around.
The second stop was the aerodrome gun tower 防空塔 just outside of Mitou 彌陀 town. (彌陀日軍防空塔) The Japanese army built these to defend against attacks from the air. This one is the biggest in the area and the coolest. You can also climb in it. Here is a cool blog with lots of information about these old war relics.
The next little area is just of the Number 17 Road among a bunch of farmer’s fields. There are a few air-raid shelters, bunkers, and a pillbox all clumped together. They are now mostly just used for storage by local farmers.
Here are a couple of other ones that I found recently.
This pillbox is in the same area (just across from 維新國小) as the ones above, but every time I was in the area there were crops growing. Therefore, I couldn’t walk through the farmer’s field to see it. Since the crops have been harvested recently, I took the opportunity to check it out.
This one was a pleasant surprise. I was riding around on the bike one afternoon and came across it. It’s on the bottom right side of the Gangshan Air Force Base. (高26鄉道24號)
We also stopped off and checked out an old plane bunker 機堡 just outside of Mitou. This was used to protect planes from American bombing runs. There are a few still in Kaohsiung near the Kaohsiung Airport that I will write up about at some point. (Blog post is here.)
There were so many things built in this area because it was and still is near an air force base. And I am guessing were never destroyed but it’s a pretty rural area and the people living there found use of them.
This aerodrome gun tower 防空塔 is also just off the number 17 road.
The last aerodrome gun tower 防空塔 that we checked out was in Ziguan District 梓官區 next to Shegnan Temple 聖安宮.
It was a really cool experience and was glad to help out with the article and share lesser-known places from Kaohsiung’s history. There are a lot more pillboxes and air raid shelters in this area so go visit them all and say hi!
2 thoughts on “Kaohsiung’s Military Leftovers: Part 1 : 彌陀日軍防空塔”
There are a few plane bunkers like those on Jeju Island. Also Yongsan Military Base, which the US is slowly handing back to Korea, was built by the Japanese Imperial Army.
Interesting. There are around a dozen (or so) left in Taiwan that I know of.