Okunoshima Rabbit Island – Hiroshima | Travel Information

Okunoshima Rabbit Island

Okunoshima Rabbit island is one of the cutest places, home to several hundred rabbits which freely traverse this small island, found in the Inland Sea of Japan offshore from the city of Takehara. 8 Rabbits were released onto the island in 1971, and have rapidly multiplied. The majority of the rabbits hang around around the shoreline where the toursits flock in, and also around the hotel on the island. You can buy rabbit food on the island for 100JPY, but be warned, the rabbits will quickly horde all those who have food.

While the Okunoshima Rabbit Island has a cute and cuddly exterior, the island itself has had quite a dark history. In the 1920’s the island served as a chemical weapon facility, which produced several thousand kilotons of Mustard gas. The facility was top secret as Japan had signed the Geneva convention which prohibited the use of Chemical weapons, but the production was still legal. Okunoshima was wiped off many maps and the island was shrouded in secrecy.

Back during the active use of the chemical weapon factory, rabbits were used as test subjects for the weapons, and while those rabbits are long gone (later re-introduced in the 1970’s), even before the island became a popular tourist attraction, Rabbits were heavily involved in the history of the island. The chemical weapons factory was later closed shortly after the World War II ended, but the workers on the island were ordered to be silent about the project, but were later given aid 30 years later to cope with the horrors they had seen on the island. 

Ruins of chemical weapon facility on Okunoshima Rabbit Island

On the island, the remnants of the chemical weapon facility are mostly still standing, and you can find abandoned facilities such as housing, chambers where the gas was developed and stored, the main factory itself and the powerplant which powered the facility.

There is also a Posion Gas Museum on the island which stands to inform the public of the horrors of chemical warfare, and it’s certainly not a place you’d want to bring children.

 

*There are no convenience stores and ATMs on the island, so please have enough cash in advance for whatever you need.

Hours and Admission (Poison Gas Museum)

  • Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • 100JPY
  • Average Time Spent: 1 Hour

Accessing Okunoshima Rabbit Island

Okunoshima can only be accessed by boat. The closest port to the island from the mainland is Tadano-umi, which can be found just outside Tadano-umi Station along the JR Line from Hiroshima. The ferry will cost 310JPY one way, and will take 15 minutes. It is recommended that once you get on the island, you plan to return to the port no later than 6:00pm to ensure that you will make the last ferry to the mainland. After 6:00pm, the services are significantly reduced and you don’t want to be caught out on the island after the last ferry departs for the day. There is also a hotel on the island you can stay at.

Where To Stay

Kyukamura Ohkunoshima Island

Japanese style Hotel found on Okunoshima, closeby where the majority of the rabbits like to congregate. Dinner and Breakfasts included in the price.

Nearby Attractions

Senkoji Park

Sightseeing Location in Mihara City.

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