One afternoon we were able to go see an old Japanese Lighthouse. After WW I, the Japanese were in control of the Chuuk islands. The islands were closed to outside visitors during that time. On the southern end of Weno, our island, they built a lighthouse. During WW II the Americans did not invade, but instead, they bombed several islands in the lagoon. This was called Operation Hailstone. The Japanese had runways on several of the islands here and all of them were bombed. Much of the Japanese fleet had been moved out just days before the attack. However, nearly 200 Japanese ships and planes are sunk in the lagoon. As a result, the major tourism visitors here are the divers who come to see the wrecks.
The Sapuk Lighthouse is about the only Japanese “tourist site” to visit that is not under water.
Elder Eliason is taking pictures of Sister Hardy and Sister Eliason plus our two “guides”. A closer view of the lighthouse and Sister Hardy. The jungle is trying to take over as the steps show.
The path through the jungle is almost overgrown, but it is really beautiful.
In places, it is dark because of all the growth. This spot was beautiful because of the light coming through. Our little guide pointed out a small hand dug cave that was right next to the path and almost totally hidden by the jungle. We assume it was a place they might use to defend the trail.
The views from the top were amazing. The right photo shows an island named Tonoas. It was actually the main island during the Japanese occupation. The far left tip of the island is where we land when we go to visit the Tonoas seminary once each month.
The far left tip of our island is near a village called Wichap, where we also go to visit a seminary class. It is probably only about 4 miles away, but there is no road. We would have to go all the way back around the island to drive there. That would be about a 13 mile drive and would take nearly an hour and a half.
On the way back, we stopped at a place that used to be some kind of resort. There are old swimming pools, a few cabin-like buildings, a large main building, and pools with fish and turtles. The gates are usually open, but no one seems to be running the place.
You can see some of the local fish and turtles in these photos.
This is a better shot of the turtle. The last picture was taken on top of the “main building”.