Xiziwan Tunnel (Old Shoushan Cave) – Kaohsiung City, Taiwan - Atlas Obscura

Xiziwan Tunnel (Old Shoushan Cave)

A 100-year-old Japanese command center is now a unique underground university walkway with periodic exhibits. 


For students and sightseers seeking to reach National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s premier center of higher learning, the easiest route from the rest of the city is Xiziwan Tunnel, or Old Shoushan Cave.

This concrete tunnel, which burrows through a mountain to reach the seaside university, is used for periodic art exhibits and is a popular path for bicyclists. It also has an almost 100-year history, dating back to the Japanese colonial period.

The tunnel was constructed in 1928 and was actually part of a series of tunnels under Shoushan (typically called Monkey Mountain in English, after the fearless Formosan rock macaques that populate the slopes).

These tunnels had ventilation, independent water and power systems, and living quarters, and served as a local center of Japanese military command. It also doubled as an air raid shelter during World War II.

The tunnels’ usage as a military command center is long in the past; these days, only one tunnel is open to the public.

Know Before You Go

Located right next to a cafe, the entrance is often lit up at night by strings of lights. Cars are not allowed but the path is free to walk or cycle down anytime.

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May 15, 2024

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