goodmorningpapua.com – Dondai Village in Waibu District, Jayapura Regency holds interesting historical tourism potential to be explored. One of them is the Japanese Cave which is now open to the public.
The opening of access is part of the respect of the people of Kampung Dondai to the participants of the VI Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (KMAN) who attended the workshop in Kampung Dondai.
Like the workshop participants from Central Kalimantan, the City of Palangka Raya was enthusiastic about visiting the Japanese Cave in Yope Bay, Dondai Village. During his visit, the Hindu participants were accompanied by the Head of Dondai Village, Yosis Daimoi.
According to the Head of Dondai Village, Yosis Daimoi, the Japanese Cave is located at an altitude of approximately 30 meters while the width reaches 15-20 meters. This cave was originally made to resemble a long tunnel as a place of escape, as well as a hiding place for Japanese soldiers from the target of the allied troops.
The entry position is from the top of the hill, then the tunnel leads into the ground and the end empties into Lake Sentani. However, at the end of the tunnel there is a stone wall resembling a gate on the edge of the lake.
Yosias said that the condition of this cave had changed a lot and was not what it was in the beginning, because it had been damaged by the allied forces in 1942. For example, the ground covering the top of the tunnel had been opened by a bomb dropped from above.
The traces of the atomic bomb explosion are still visible today. For example, the mouth of the tunnel that was destroyed by the bomb attack, including the walls to the former tunnel looks like a well.
Besides being a hiding place for Japanese soldiers, this cave is also said to have been visited by the First President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ir Soekarno. This story has been passed down from generation to generation.
Unfortunately the condition of the historic cave is now full of trees on its back, while the inside of the cave is scattered with chunks of rock, due to the Allied bomb explosion.
Central Kalimantan Customary Chief, Palangka Raya City, Jhono RB, assessed that the Japanese Cave has economic potential, so that it can be used as a historical tourist attraction to increase residents’ income.
“This cave has to be mainatined and preserved by indigenous peoples as a tourist attraction that can increase the income of the Dondai Village community,” said Jhono RB.
Jhono also felt very grateful for visiting the historical cave in Dondai Village. Moreover, the Japanese Cave, according to Jhono, is still sacred so that it makes him both amazed and has goosebumps.
“As a Hindu, I must be grateful and offer prayers, and sprinkle yellow rice and perfumed oil as a tribute to the place I have just visited,” he said.
He hopes that this cave can be managed as a religious and historical tourist spot, because it has its own uniqueness. “I also hope that the village government makes a development program supported by the Jayapura Regency Government, opening tourist spots that attract visitors,” he said.