This blog post was updated on October 12, 2018.
People travel for many different reasons. Many tour the world to increase their knowledge of humanity, history, or language. Some travel just to see the sites and collect souvenirs from all over the world. Some seek adventure and thrill. And some just want to meet adorable animals. For this unique sect, there exists the perfect place – an island filled with roaming, tame, bunnies.
Rabbit Island (Usagi Jima – ウサギ島), whose official name is Ōkunoshima (大久野島) is small island in the Seto Inland Sea, which separates the main islands of Japan. The island was once used to manufacture poison gas for chemical warfare during WWII. Now it’s lousy with rabbits. Life is funny that way sometimes.
No one seems to know exactly how the tiny spot of land (only about 2.5 miles around) got to be overrun with over 700 rabbits, all of whom are friendly and love being fed by tourists – but no one is complaining. The island began getting attention in the U.S. when a video showing a woman being chased down the road by an adorable hoard of fluffy bunnies went viral last year.
Ōkunoshima also has campsites, hiking trails, and the Poison Gas Museum – a small, but solemn, reflection on the dangers of war and the history of the island.
The island has only one hotel, but is accessible by a 12 minute ferry ride from Tadanoumi Station in Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture. It’s definitely worth a day trip if you’re planning on hopping around Japan, and are interested in the rich history and educational opportunities. (Just kidding – we know you’re just in it for the bunnies. And that’s OK.)