May 10, 2021

Locating the abandoned Keppel Hill Reservoir & Japanese Tomb on Mount Faber (Map Included)

The abandoned Keppel Hill Reservoir was the first off-the-beaten-trail hike that I did with my family and as a result, it has kick-started my love of hiking and locating hidden gems in Singapore.

When we visited in August 2020, we only managed to find Keppel Hill Reservoir even though I knew of the existence of the solitary Japanese Tomb and the possibility of hiking up to the top of Mount Faber. So eight months later, I was back and ready to explore again.

If you have not been to the reservoir before, you may like to read my previous post HERE for directions. For convenience's sake, I will share the entire route directions from the starting point to Mount Faber top in this post.

The adventure begins at Wishart Road. If you are driving, travel along West Coast Highway towards HarbourFront Centre and it will be on your left. If you are taking public transport, search for Bus Stop Code '14139' to see the buses that stop there.

Travel down to the end and it will lead you to Keppel Hill Road.

If you plan on re-fueling after the trek, there is a cafe named Fuel Plus and a prata shop called Lakshmi Vilas located there. To begin your exploration, just look for the road sign 'Keppel Hill'.

Follow the road and walk right in.

Continue along the road.

After a short walk, you will see a forked road with two paths.

The right path leads to the No.11 Keppel Hill House which is gated by the way but you can still sneak a glance at how big and grand the house is from the gate.

To get to Keppel Hill Reservoir, take the left path which leads you down a concrete road.

As you reach the bottom of the short slope, you will see a muddy trail.

After a very short walk, you will encounter another forked path and this time, take the one on the RIGHT.

Continue on the man-made trail, where the final 'landmark' before reaching the reservoir is this concrete beam over a small stream.

The beam is pretty wide and extremely stable so no dangers as long as one keeps to the centre.

Once across, simply take a few more steps and this will come into view.

Throughout the area, one can see the remnants of the reservoir's past uses, like this flight of steps leading down to the reservoir. (PLEASE DO NOT GO DOWN)

There are also a flight of steps and metal bars that protrude outwards from the ground - evidence of the presence of a diving board back in the days when the reservoir was used as a swimming pool.

Other than that, there isn't really much to do at the reservoir except to just admire the tranquilty of the place.

To continue hiking to the Japanese Tomb, just turn right when facing the reservoir and walk along its front perimeter.

You will see a short flight of steps.

Head up the steps and contiune on the well-trodden path made by previous hikers.

The trail should be fairly visible and easy to follow. If you are unsure of which way to go, keep a lookout for the markers that other helpful hikers had tied to some of the trees. They indicate that you are on the right path.

Along the way, you will come across this 'obstacle course' made up of fallen tree trunks. Go past them.

After a short walk, you will see a tall flight of steps.

Head up and the solitary Japanese Tomb is found!

Not much is known about the tomb, or the person whose body is buried beneath it. All that is known is the tomb blongs to a Japanese who worked in Singapore during the 1940s. According to the inscriptions on the tombstone, his name was Komoto Ekasa (小本江笠), and he was a civilian naval engineer who had worked for the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

From here, you can head towards the summit of Mount Faber by turning right when facing the tomb and follow the well-trodden path.

Another option is to head back down the flight of steps and take the right path (when facing the steps).

Take a few steps forward and you will see a huge bunker. Unfortunately, it is sealed so I'm not sure what it was used for.

Go around the perimeter of the bunker and it will bring you back to the right side ofthe Japanese Tomb. Continue on the path for the final summit push to the top.

The path is pretty straighforward along the way, save for a portion where you will come across a forked path. Take the one on the left.

(I've tried going on the right and it was not passable due to fallen trunks at one part)

Soon, Mount Faber Cable Car Station will come into view.

Simply continue the hike uphill...

And you will reach your destination!

Take a well-desrved break to enjoy the stupendous view atop Mount Faber.

And a seflie or two. 😁

Head further upwards and you will reach the back of Arbora Hilltop Garden & Bistro... and the rows of bells tied to the compound fencing.

Continue along the back of the bistro and you will soon join back to the main path at Mount Faber.

Turn left and it will bring you towards Henderson Waves and HortPark while turning right will lead you to Marang Trail which is a long flight of stairs that will bring you back to ground level beside Seah Im Food Centre.

From there, you can easily reach VivoCity or take the MRT at HarbourFront MRT Station.

All in, the hike from the starting point at Wishart Road to the top of Mount Faber will take about 40 to 50 minutes - extremely doable for beginners and even for kids!



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