Negros Oriental has quite a bloody past, with the Japanese Shrine Dumaguete being the site of a hard fought battle between the American and Filipino combined forces, and the Japanese Imperial Forces during World War II. Officially the Filipino-American-Japanese Amity Shrine, this towering pillar symbolises the end of the bloodshed and a new era of peace amongst the three countries.
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WHERE IS THE JAPANESE SHRINE DUMAGUETE
Full disclosure here, the Japanese Shrine Dumaguete isn’t actually in Dumaguete. It’s in Valencia, high up in the mountains. It’s a short drive from the city, only around 30 minutes if you have your own vehicle. There are two main ways to get there; the road going to Casaroro Falls or the road going past Pigeon Resort. Take the Pigeon Resort road, as it’s paved the whole way and an easier drive. Both motorbikes and cars will make it just fine.
OUR EXPERIENCE AT THE JAPANESE SHRINE DUMAGUETE
After winding our way up the mountain for around 15 minutes, we finally made it to the Japanese Shrine Dumaguete. You can’t miss the entrance, as it’s a dead end marked with a Japanse Torii gate, signifying the entrance to the shrine.
The shrine itself is a 30 ft concrete obelisk, with three sides representing the three countries involved in the war – Japan, USA and Philippines. The shrine was built in 1997 and unveiled by the war veterans, their families and descendants.
Just behind the site of the shrine are these old ruins which may or may not have anything to do with the war. Unfortunately, there’s no guide to explain the history of the site, so we were left to wander and wonder alone.
The small house in front of the shrine on the cliff’s edge has the best view in the house, overlooking Dumaguete and the neighbouring islands of Cebu and Siquijor in the distance. It also has a little sari-sari storer if you’re feeling peckish or parched.
The Japanese Shrine Dumaguete is a beautiful and sentimental spot to spend some time reflecting and admiring the view. Bring a picnic blanket and some snacks and you’re set for an afternoon, or combine it with a trip to the Dumaguete Belfry for a little more history.
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR DUMAGUETE
Most people who visit Negros Oriental are told to stay in Dumaguete, but what they really mean by that is stay around Dumaguete. True, Dumaguete City has plenty of tourist inns and budget hotels, but it’s the surrounding towns of Dauin and Zamboanguita that offer the best spots to stay. There’s not a whole lot to do in the city itself, so when you stay in the nearby municipalities there’s plenty of nature to explore whilst still being nice and close to Dumaguete City. Check out our top picks for accommodation near Dumaguete City.
LUXURY: Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, Dauin
Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in Dauin is the resort to stay at if you’ve got a big budget and fancy the finer things in life. Atmosphere has hosted its fair share of local celebrities and deep pocketed divers looking for the best beachfront luxury in Dauin. Read our full review of Atmosphere Resorts & Spa here.
MIDSCALE: Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort, Dauin
If you want to stay by the ocean without breaking the bank, Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort in Dauin is a comfortable midscale accommodation option perfect for diving enthusiasts. If you’ve never dived before, you can get your certification at Mike’s, and divers of all skill sets can enjoy the abundance of macro diving opportunities in and around Dauin.
BUDGET: Bongo Bongo Divers, Dauin
Bongo Bongo Divers is one of the most popular hostels in Dauin for backpackers looking for cheap accommodation in a convenient location. The rooms are simple, without any glitz and glam, but the vibe is fun and welcoming. They have a variety of room styles to choose from, ranging from couples rooms to AC or fan only dorms.
AIRBNB: Villa Amani, Zamboanguita
Villa Amani in Zamboanguita is the perfect holiday home for small families or groups of friends looking for privacy that a traditional resort or hotel can’t offer. The main house sleeps 4 with additional space for 2 in the guest house, or you can book the guest house separately if it’s just the 2 of you and you’re on a budget. The property has a swimming pool, an unbeatable view of Apo Island and kayaks to use whenever you want. Read our full review of Villa Amani here.
MORE NEGROS ORIENTAL GUIDES:
Dumaguete Belfry Tower
Lake Balinsasayao & Danao Twin Lakes, Sibulan
Casaroro Falls, Valencia
Pulangbato Falls, Valencia
Swimming with Apo Island Turtles, Dauin
Upper Pulangbato Falls, Valencia
Original Casaroro Falls, Valencia
Tottyn Falls, Valencia
Baslay Hot Spring, Dauin
Secret Hot Spring & Waterfall, Dauin