Okinawa became the site of one of the war's bloodiest battles when the US forces invaded and occupied the island in 1945. There is an estimated 200,000 people that includes more than 100,000 civilians and 12,500 Americans who were killed in the battle that lasted from April to June 1945.
It is why there a number of monuments and museums relating to this period that is found throughout Okinawa. The worst part of the war took place in the south and that is where some of the larger monument have been constructed.
The main memorial to the Battle of Okinawa is the Peace Memorial Park located in the southern tip of the island. There is also this Peace Memorial Museum which offers an overview of the lead up to the battle, the battle itself and the reconstrution of Okinawa.
Other monuments in the park includes the Cornerstone of Peace which offers a view of a collection of large stones plates with the engrave name of all fallen soldiers and civilians.
A few kilometers west of the park is the Himeyuri Monument with a museum. Then, the Former Navy Underground Castle Headquarters which consist of several hundred meters of underground corridors and rooms that served as the Japanese navy's headquarters during the war.
To Peace Memorial Park and Himeyuri Monument, take bus number 89 from Naha Bus Terminal to Itoman Terminal, transfer to the bus 82 and get off at Heiwakinendo Iriguchi.
To Former Navy Undergriund Headquarters, take bus number 55 or 98 to Tomigusuku Minami from where the Former Navy Underground Headquarters are a ten minute walk up the hill.
For the Peace Memorial Museum:
- Opens 9:00 to 17:00
- Closed on December 29 to January 3 and occasional irregular closures
- Admission fee is 300 yen
For Himeyuri Monument
- Opens 9:00 to 17:30
- No closing days
- Admission fee is 310 Yen
For Former Navy Underground Headquarters
- Opens 8:30 to 17:00
- No closing days
- Admission fee is 440 Yen
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