Approximately an hour from Hiroshima city lies a small island with a peculiar inhabitant. Before World War 2, Okunoshima was originally a military bunker, but has since been deserted, and reclaimed as a warren. A warren, home to a herd of rabbits.
And not just a few.
Leave it to Japan to have an entire island filled with bunnies! The island of Okunoshima is just a 10 minute ferry ride from Tadanoumi Station on the JR Rail-line. A small ferry transports approximately 50 people, each armed with an arsonal to feed the furry bunnies.
Upon leaving the ferry boat, watch your step! You might end up slipping and falling into a pile of ravenous rabbits. They come in swarms, hopping up to, or on, anyone and everyone. Some stand on their hindquarters and beg for a nibble, while others are more aggressive and crawl right into your lap!
Be careful of the extra-large ones: they are big for a reason. While their teeth don’t hurt, it sure caught me off guard the first time a fat little bugger grabbed my finger rather than a pellet.
Most bunnies seem to have no fear of humans, although some are more skittish than others. Brandon and I spent hours petting and feeding the herd, coaxing them into sitting on our laps while they ate handfuls of feed.
The island looks like an ill-behaved puppies yard, with holes dug every meter or so, some filled with napping rabbits. Around the back side of the island is a small resort, and the remains of the military bunker that used to be housed here. Deserted after WW2, Okunoshima is a small oasis from the bustle of Japan, great for solitude seekers, and animal lovers alike.
I can imagine that the resort would be a wonderful place to stay in the summertime. The islands’ shores were beautiful and tempting to explore, but the wind gusts kept me at bay. The whole island was very quiet, and had a single bus running from resort to ferry dock. I would hate to be the bus driver though, because the rabbits seemed unfazed by the bus’s movements along the roads.
I was so excited to visit Okunoshima, after reading about it online. I timed our arrival with Brandon and my friend Chris’ visit to Japan, so he could experience something you simply can’t find back in the states. No trip to Hiroshima would be complete without feeding the rabbits!
Look below for additional help getting to Okunoshima. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!!
Mail Chimp Bottom of page subscribe
Join in the Adventure!
The fastest way to Okunoshima is to take the Shinkansen to Mihara station (20min) , and the local JR train to Tadanoumi station (23min).
You can also take the Kure line, ( JR train) from Hiroshima station to Tadanoumi station (1.5hours).
Be sure to check when the Kure line is running, since times are irregular (for Japan) and they seem to take a break mid-day.