KamiSeya, Japan .. August 2004
Images from Dick Irving CTMC USNR (Ret)

Please scrolldown. Click-on the photos to enlarge.

Well we had total success with getting to the old "tunnel" operations area at Kami Seya. As I said in earlier notes, the Security
Guys on duty at Kami had instructions and enforced, that no one was to go to the tunnel area as it was "condemned" and
dangerous after the departure of CTF 72 for another location (Misawa) . On my visit about a month ago (on a weekend),
I approached the duty JOOD/Security guardwatch sup, and was given the dangerous story but told that when CTF 72 had
something of a departure ceremony, that pictures were taken at the tunnel by the Atsugi (present "land lord") PIO/PAO
(Public Information Office/Public Affairs Office) - and maybe I could get some pictures from them. The next week I call the
PAO and explained who I was and why I wanted picture of the tunnel. I was told that - no, they had not taken any pictures but
they would check into it for me. I called back and was told that they had no new information - but it was also clear that I was
fortunately getting a sympathetic/helpful reaction to why I wanted the pictures and they were trying to help me out. After a couple
of later calls it was clear that the guys at the Atsugi PAO were in an exchange with the Security guys and certainly on "our" side.
Anyway, a week or so back I called again and the PAO Officer told me to pick a day and he would make it work for me to have
access to the area. I told him it was his favor to me - give me a date and I would be there - he suggested the 17th and I was
there. The PAO assigned me a very helpful and friendly JOC from his office to escort me to Kami - make sure the previous
arrangements with Security were in place and working and away we went. Utterly no problem getting access as the
prearrangements were flawless and I was given absolutely free run of the exterior of the tunnel area and spent about an hour
or so there taking any pictures I wanted.

The whole area has apparently been condemned (notes on asbestos pollution - doubtless dangerous interior) but it was clear that
when CTF 72 vacated the buildings - they just cleared out, locked the doors and departed. As is also clear from the photos that
there was a whale of lot of facility stuff added to the tunnel - AC power, Air conditioning, environmental stuff and lots and lots of
"out buildings" after my days there. The last time I was in the tunnel per se was in the 1982/3 time frame and visiting the then
WestPac FOSIF, I didn't note (or maybe just missed) all of the "new" out buildings. I do recall at that time there was a monument
of some sort noting/memoralizing all of the guys who had died in the infamous fire of the mid '60s. None of that is there now -
absolutely nothing external re the tunnels former incarnation as the huge SecGru presence that we all knew. The only indication of
a USN organizational presence is the sign over what apparently was the most recent main entrance, was the CTF 72 label.
There is no apparent indication of what the ultimate fate of the tunnel will be but almost beyond a doubt it is slated for demolition.
The PAO alluded to what he heard was an issue of who would fund what is likely an environmental clean-up as well as the
ultimate demolition. ( I can tell you from personal experience over 40 years ago, the concrete walls of the tunnel per se, are in
some places 6 foot thick and from trying to sink anchor bolts into that stuff with a hand hammered star drill - that concrete is really
really tough stuff) and someone is going to have a good time trying to knock that place apart. At any rate the tunnel at this moment
is just totally dorment looking very abandoned and going to seed.

It took me some time to figure out what didn't look right (notwithstanding all the new outbuildings) when I was looking at things -
something just was not "right". It finally dawned on me that what was missing from my recollection of the area was the antenna
field. Those gorgeous rosettes of 3 curtain rhombics that were a joy to any antenna "freak" (yes - I'm a ham) are all totally
gone/gone/gone - not a trace that they were ever there to the eye. As then, the area where the antenna fields were is still part of
the US facility but now as then too, being farmed (not rice paddies) by apparently local leasee. It is hard to overemphasize just
how urbanized the whole area around the old base has become - but the area retained to date by the US is just about the only
remaining green area anywhere around - and some of the area west of the old DF site is actually open to the public and more or
less used as a park area by the locals.

Dick Irving

Left photo:    This photo is what you see when approaching the tunnel.

Right photo:    Slightly different view of approaching the tunnel.

Left photo:    This a shot from the parking lot - sort of looking at the NorthWest
(end toward the main part of the base) end of the tunnel.

Right photo:    Slightly closer look at the NW corner of the tunnel.

This is looking straight into the North end (toward the main base) of the tunnel - it's actually
in the green stuff..

Left photo:    The is a shot of the last Main Entrance - CTF72 - at the South end -
looking north.

Right photo:    Perhaps you can read the name over the door of the last Main Entrance -
South end looking north.

Left photo:    This is a shot of the south end of the tunnel (The big old blast doors are I
imagine) still behind the building that there now - The building on the right of this picture is
the one that houses the "new Main Entrance".

Right photo:    Backed off into the grass - South West corner of the tunnel looking north east.

Left photo:    This is on the tip of the tunnel looking north - toward the main part of the base.
Note the large bldg in the distance - urban encroachment where the Green House used to be.

Right photo:    Still on top of the tunnel - looking south (away from the main part of the base).
Note how close the apartments are and you can just see some of the farming lands too.

Left photo:    Again from the top of the tunnel - looking north west directly toward the main
part of the base in the background and the open field where the rhombics used to be.

Right photo:    This is another shot from the top of the tunnel - looking southwest - kind of
toward Atsugi . Note all of the enviromental ka-ka in the foreground.

Left photo:    Looking at the SW corner of the tunnel - toward the NE. Note the steps to the
top of the tunnel - where I took the top view pictures.

Right photo:    Close-up of one of a number of what looks like old entrances to the facilities.

Left photo:    Shot of what pretty obviously was a smoking - break area - just outside the
old (west) entrance to the tunnel.

Right photo:    This looks like where the real working guys entered the tunnel.

Left photo:    This a look at the west side of the tunnel - the side we entered on looking due

Right photo:    Another look at the west side - looking sort of southeast at about the middle
of the tunnel.

Left photo:    Looks like a fairly well used west side entrance to the entrance building.

Right photo:    Close up of the door and who to call if you want to go in - but no one answers
this number???

Left photo:    Clearly the parking lot for the "Easy Rider" Set. Note the approval sign.

Right photo:    North east corner of the Tunnel - looking toward the southeast - directly
away from the base proper.

Left photo:    Same north east corner - backed off a bit in the parking lot.

Right photo:    This was pretty clearly, the entrance where most of the worker-bees entered.

Left photo:   This is a shot of a break/lunch/picnic sort of area just off the west side parking
lot - looking directly south.

Right photo:    This is a slightly longer view of what seems to be the main entrance with
parking lot in foreground - big trees on right are immediately in front of the lunch
tables/barbeque arrangement.

Left photo:   Longer shot of the parking lot (my little Blue Honda in foreground) and
north end of the tunnel.

Right photo:    Break area in front of the tunnel and under some beautiful trees. Very Nice

Left photo:    This is a shot from the so called picnic area toward the north east - looking at
an out building and the north end of the tunnel.

Right photo:    Took a picture of JOC Junior who was the Atsugi PAO's rep who escorted me
to the tunnel and made things all work - and made sure I got what I wanted to see and pictures
taken. A very fine gentleman and very helpful - and on his way to Iceland in just a few months.