Gua Jepang

West Sumatra

This extensive network of underground WWII Japanese bunkers built into a cliff face stretches for nearly 1.5km. It was built by local forced labour in 1942, and exploring its tunnels (used as living quarters, prison and torture area, and for storing ammunition and launching offensives) can be a rather spooky experience. English-speaking guides (30,000Rp) are available at the entrance across from Taman Panorama, about 1km from the centre of Bukittinggi.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby West Sumatra attractions

1. Taman Panorama

0.05 MILES

Taman Panorama, on the southern edge of Bukittinggi, overlooks the deep Ngarai Sianok (Sianok Canyon), where fruit bats swoop at sunset, as well as the…

2. Jam Gadang

0.37 MILES

Built in the 1920s to house a clock that was a gift from the Dutch queen, Jam Gadang is Bukittinggi's town emblem and focal point. Independence in 1945…

3. Pasar Atas

0.44 MILES

Pasar Atas is a large, colourful daily market crammed with stalls selling fruit and vegetables, second-hand clothing and crafts.

4. Masjid Raya

0.47 MILES

While not particularly attractive (and hence of no real interest to non-Muslim travellers), this central mosque offers a useful landmark for getting your…

5. Benteng de Kock

0.54 MILES

Benteng de Kock was built by the Dutch during the Padri Wars. Other than a few cannons and ramparts, there’s not much to it now apart from the nice…

6. Pasar Bawah


More of a landmark than genuine sight, this central undercover market is popular with locals here to shop for fresh produce and everyday items.

7. Koto Gadang

0.87 MILES

Silversmiths occupy several old Dutch houses in Koto Gadang, 5km from Bukittinggi. Catch a westbound angkot (3000Rp) or take an hour’s walk from Taman…

8. PT Songket Bernhard Bart

3.47 MILES

Handicraft and textile fans should not miss this place near Simpang Bukit Batabuah, 7km southeast of Bukittinggi. Dedicated to revitalising the…