okunoshima is super kawaii! an island full of bunnies. yes, it does exist! only in japan!
okunoshima aka usagi shima (rabbit island) is a tiny island in the inland sea. it is not inhabited by people, but it is invaded by hundreds of bunnies. and open to visitors.
the rabbits are not afraid of humans. they will even come hopping to beg for treats. you can buy food pellets for 100 yen a cup. but my plan is to to bring a bagful of sliced carrots and cabbage, be prepared for the bunny invasion! i did the same for the deer in nara and it was a success: they ambushed me, and gently bit me in order to get attention. i expect the same from the bunny herd.
the background is grim. during ww2, the island was housing a top-secret military site manufacturing poison gas. some sources say that, after the factory was closed down, some rabbits were released. an alternative story says that in 1971, some school children released 8 rabbits into the wild. either way, the bunnies multiplied like…well, bunnies. and, nowadays, the rumour of floppy eared cuteness attracts hoards of visitors. the island has a complex including a hotel, an onsen, etc, pretty much everything a visitor may need. as an extra attraction, the former poison gas factory is open for visits.
in case you want to visit the island before i do, here you have some useful directions. as you will most probably come from the mainland, first get on the sanyō shinkansen to mihara station (the nozomi does not stop there). at mihara, catch the local train on the kure line to tadanoumi. then walk to the terminal and catch a ferry to okunoshima.
this is just a heads up. i will get back to you with more info from this cute kingdom after i visit it!
photo and video credits: google search