Sure, he looks cute, but just wait till those sneakers catch his eye. But not all stay open forever. This was a lovely time of day to explore the area with almost no one else around and we had the whole place to ourselves. Also read: Cuteness Overload: 10 ‘Kawaii’ Things to do in Tokyo. Fujii Shuzo uses natural local ingredients such as organically-grown rice and the town’s natural spring water to make their sake. Nicholas D. Kristof, “Okunoshima Journal; A Museum to Remind Japanese of Their Own Guilt,”, Up-to-date information on getting to Rabbit Island, Info-site of the hiroshima-prefecture on the island, Paper from Dr. Yukutake on poison gas usage and treatment, A YouTube video showing the wild rabbits running after a visitor. With a population of more than 1,000 rabbits across the small island, which is covered with overgrown ruins and walking trails, it makes a fascinating place to visit and explore, especially if you’re an animal lover. While the island is a very popular tourist spot, it does have a tragic past. Since it is part of the Inland Sea National Park system of Japan, there is a resource center and a museum. Families of workers who suffered the aftereffects of the harsh working conditions donated numerous artifacts to help tell the story of the workers' plight. From there, take the JR Sanyo line to Mihara station for a 35 min trip. A trip to Rabbit Island puts these somewhat contradictory facts side by side as visitors traverse old historical sites, while being accosted by completely tame rabbits hungry for snacks. Okunoshima island a.k.a. A perfect pairing! Rabbit island (You can get the to the island from JR Tadanoumi Station by ferry. Okunoshima was once used to manufacture deadly gas for the Japanese military in World War II, and the island itself was a secret from most Japanese citizens during the war—the workers were sworn to secrecy. It is accessible by ferry from Tadanoumi and Ōmishima. Japan. One of the most adorable places in Japan, but with a dark past. Japan was a signatory of the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which banned the use of chemical warfare but not the development and storage of chemical weapons. How to get to Rabbit Island from Tokyo Even with the shinkansen, it takes a whopping 6 hours to reach Okunoshima from Tokyo. Yuki Tanaka. Visiting Okunoshima aka Rabbit Island. Many tourists make their way to the island just so that they can enjoy a delightful encounter with all those rabbits. History of Okunoshima. In 1971, a group of schoolchildren released eight rabbits on the island. To know more about offbeat places in Japan, have a look at our 2 weeks alternative Japan itinerary!. Like Rabbit Island, Cat Island’s namesake animal significantly outnumbers humans in population, although in the case of Cat Island it’s due to Japan’s ongoing demographic crisis, rather than chemical weapons. Animals Creepy Japan's Rabbit Island in Hiroshima is absolutely covered in rabbits. To get to Rabbit Island from Tokyo, you will want to reserve a seat on the Shinkansen (bullet train). I hope people will realize both facets and recognize the importance of peace."[7]. However, there’s a dark story from World War II behind this picturesque island. However, we found out that there was another super-kawaii (cute) place – Okunoshima, also known as Usaga Jima, or Rabbit Island, because of the 1000+ cute furry critters that call it home. Located in a remodeled merchant’s warehouse just off Honmachi-dori—the main street—of the historic district, here you can try your hand at making some traditional bamboo crafts. In 2015, the BBC presented a short television series called Pets - Wild at Heart about the behaviours of pets and it featured the rabbits on the island. I challenge anyone to leave there at the end of the day without warm fuzzy feelings! Japan Tourism Japan Hotels Bed and Breakfast Japan Japan Holiday Rentals Flights to Japan Japan Restaurants Japan Attractions ... Backpacker Hostels Japan; Post. Looking for a unique experience during your Japan trip? From here, change to the JR Kure line to Tadano-Umi Station. Bunny Island, how to go to Rabbit Island, Japan bunny, Japan rabbit, kawaii, Okunoshima, Rabbit Island, rabbit island day trip Jonelle Patrick View All Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. The island was a cultivated area until the Russo-Japanese War when ten forts were built to protect it. The island’s official name is Okunoshima, and it’s located in Hiroshima Prefecture about a five-hour trip from Tokyo. Japan's Rabbit Island in Hiroshima is absolutely covered in rabbits. Do you like cute animals? It is often called Usagi Shima (うさぎ島, "Rabbit Island") because of the numerous feral rabbits that roam the island. Japan Area Guide. The island played a key role during World War II as a poison gas factory for much of the chemical warfare that was carried out in China. room was located in an old building that used to be a bank during the Meiji era. The first is that a few pet rabbits were released by children when the islands were evacuated in the 1940s. Nevertheless, Japan went to great lengths to keep the chemical munitions plant a secret, even going so far as to remove records of the island from some maps. Casey Baseel Jun 7, 2014; ... For travelers coming from Kyushu or one of the cities on the main island of Honshu, such as Tokyo or Kyoto, the most convenient route is to travel by the Shinkansen bullet train to Mihara Station in Hiroshima Prefecture. Then, read on! This was a lovely time of day to explore the area with almost no one else around and we had the whole place to ourselves. Ookuno Island is a peaceful island located in the Seto Island Sea. So even if you are not an animal lover, but are rather a history buff, Okunoshima is still well worth a visit. It takes less than three hours to get from Tokyo to this picture-perfect hot spring town in Shikoku. The ruins of the old forts and the gas factory still exist all over the island, but entry is prohibited as it is too dangerous. Tried on google, but can't seem to find it. The second is that the rabbits are escaped test subjects from the island’s former toxic gas production labs (more on that later). Okunoshima […] TOKYO (5 a.m.) Markets; 103.21 ¥/$ (4 p.m.) Login ... and I want to do something to help the sick and injured bunnies on Rabbit Island, so I am writing to The Japan Times. Rabbit Island is a perfect Hiroshima day-trip, only two hours away by train, or a great place to stopover between Hiroshima and Osaka. Rabbit island Ookuno Island . Aside from the rather tame rabbits, … OFF THE COAST OF HIROSHIMA, JAPAN. The small museum is only two rooms large and provides a basic overview of the construction of the chemical plant, working conditions, and the effects of poison gas on humans. As soon as we stepped off the ferry and walked past the terminal, we were greeted by a welcoming party of cute furry rabbits. Dozens of fluffy, unbelievable cute bunnies will be eating from your hands, and jumping all over you, when you lie down. From the creators of Tokyo Cheapo, Japan Cheapo is a site dedicated to helping you get the most from your yen while travelling around Japan.. More than 100,000 people visit Japan Cheapo each month for help in planning their trip to Japan. Okunoshima Island offers cute and cuddly bunnies for mass enjoyment. Many of them are descended from rabbits intentionally let loose when the island was developed as a park after World War II. As a last hurrah for autumn, we planned a trip to Okunoshima or the Rabbit Island. The owner, who speaks fluent English, was able to carefully explain the traditional kimoto-zukuri brewing method they use to produce award-winning products as well as some tasting  (currently paused due to the coronavirus situation). Tucked away along one of the smaller alleys in the historic district is the, From Tokyo, take the bullet train to Fukuyama (3.5 hrs, Start Planning Future Trips With Japan Travel Books. In 1929, The Imperial Japanese Army built a secret military facility for chemical weapon research and production on the island to produce poison gas. What Is ETIAS And How To Apply. If Tokyo and Kyoto are on your destination maps, head to Okunoshima from Kyoto instead of Tokyo. The second room shows how poison gas affects the human body through the lungs, eyes, skin, and heart. The island was a cultivated area until the Russo-Japanese War when ten forts were built to protect it. A visit to Okunoshima can even be extended to an overnight trip! In the prefecture of Hiroshima, in the Takehara area, there is a very peculiar and mysterious island that attracts thousands of tourists a year who want to see its small and tender inhabitants. [2], In 1925, the Imperial Japanese Army Institute of Science and Technology initiated a secret program to develop chemical weapons, based on extensive research that showed that chemical weapons were being produced throughout the United States and Europe. From Takehara station, our first stop was Okunoshima—affectionately called Usagi Shima (literally, “Rabbit Island”). If Tokyo and Kyoto are on your destination maps, head to Okunoshima from Kyoto instead of Tokyo. The bunnies aren’t afraid to approach visitors but let’s be honest: all they want is food. That place is Okunoshima, or “Rabbit Island”— a small island found in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, which just so happens to be populated by 700 to 1000 cute, fluffy bunny rabbits. This pancake like food with sweet sauce on top is one of the most popular foods in Hiroshima. Ok this is how you do: 1- Get a ticket from Hiroshima Shinkensen Station to Mihara by Japan Rail Pass. If you’ve heard about Okunoshima, more widely known by its popular name of Rabbit Island (official website), you can thank YouTube.Before a 2014 YouTube video of a woman being “attacked” by a horde of friendly bunnies went viral, most visitors to Okunoshima were either elderly Japanese coming to enjoy the local onsen hot springs or school children on a field trip. Here, I discover that not everything is as cute as it seems! After learning all about nihonshu, we were feeling a little hungry and were glad to hear that there was a soba restaurant located inside the sake brewery. Japan’s Rabbit Island There are two competing theories on how Okunoshima became a rabbit mecca. Okunoshima island a.k.a. The night before you visit the island, I suggest staying in the seaside town of Takehara. During the war, rabbits were also used in the chemical munitions plant to test the effectiveness of the chemical weapons, but those rabbits were killed when the factory was demolished and are not related to the rabbits currently on the island. It is a great chance to soak up the atmosphere of the island and see the rabbits when they are at their most active—early in the morning and in the evening. Leaving Okunoshima, we rode the ferry back to Takehara Port. Learn about Okunoshima's dark past, how it became the 'rabbit island' of Hiroshima, Japan, & what to be mindful when mingling with the rabbits. The wild rabbits found all over the island has earned it the nickname "Rabbit Island." It’s a small island in the Seto Inland Sea called Ōkunoshima, two miles off the coast of the Japanese city of Takehara, in Hiroshima Prefecture. We recommend staying until sunset, as the purple mountains in the background and soft light shimmering on the water make for a stunning view. Cute rabbits, stunning natural surroundings and one of the best-preserved old towns in Japan—Takehara in Hiroshima Prefecture is the perfect location for a charming weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Combined with Tokyo Cheapo, total reach exceeds 850,000. Home › Japan › Hiroshima › Tours › Rabbit Island Lapin (in French), Rabbit (in English), Usagi (in Japanese) 12 min. However, the former fishing and agricultural island has a dark past. The island played a key role during World War II as a secret poison gas factory. After thanking our instructor and talking to some of the other master craftsmen and women in the workshop, we headed to our next destination. (literally, “Rabbit Island”). Located in a remodeled merchant’s warehouse just off. We ended our journey in Takehara by strolling its retro streets one last time with our pinwheel in hand, gently blowing in the wind. Residents and potential employees were not told what the plant was manufacturing and everything was kept secret. The restaurant, Tanizaki, uses the same clear natural spring water as the sake to create tasty, authentic handmade soba buckwheat noodles. Make sure to pick up some rabbit food at Takehara Port before you get to the island as it’s dangerous to feed them any other food. It has a history of poison gas production, and it is also famous for its many abandoned buildings. “the Rabbit island” is a small island located in Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima prefecture. This island is overrun with cute fluffy bunnies, waiting for visitors to come armed with treats. Here’s everything you need to know for your visit to Rabbit Island, Japan: Okunoshima. Visiting Okunoshima aka Rabbit Island. The island is so small that in fact you can walk the entire island, visit the wonderful sights, and get a balanced fill of feeding and playing with the rabbits over just a few hours, making it a great half-day trip to combine with another city nearby. In Japan, try to save the Japanese names of the places/ restaurants you wish to go to, as some places do not have English translations. This Hiroshima Prefecture city is a fantastic destination for anyone interested in history, culture and nature—not to mention our main goal: the awfully cute rabbit island! [3] The island was chosen for its isolation, security, and distance from Tokyo and other areas in case of disaster. Let me take you to one. Beautiful views, lush forests, well-marked trails with options for both beginners and experienced hikers, this is the perfect weekend nature escape from Tokyo for the... No doubt about it—hot springs and autumn holidays make a perfect match. "[6] As expressed by its curator, Murakami Hatsuichi, to The New York Times, “My hope is that people will see the museum in Hiroshima City and also this one, so they will learn that we [Japanese] were both victims and aggressors in the war. Would someone know the name of the hotel on the island? The best way to access the island from the mainland is to take the Sanyō Shinkansen train to Mihara Station (only the Kodama stops there). Tokyo. You can stay overnight at the Kyukamura Ohkunoshima, the only inn on the island. Thanks to the fluffy creatures, Okunoshima is a popular tourist attraction. Looking for a unique experience during your Japan trip? The island played a key role during World War II as a poison gas factory for much of the chemical warfare that was carried out in China. It costs 310yen and takes 12min) In hiroshima, you can eat delicious Okonomiyaki. From there, we took a short 20-minute walk to the Takehara Townscape Conservation Area. However, we found out that there was another super-kawaii (cute) place – Okunoshima, also known as Usaga Jima, or Rabbit Island, because of the 1000+ cute furry critters that call it home. bath. Rabbit Island Is Real In Japan That Has 700 Rabbits!! Follow me on my journey to rabbit island, also known as Okunoshima in Japan. The rest of the island is full of ruins that are in stark juxtaposition to the otherwise adorable atmosphere of Rabbit island. It is a great chance to soak up the atmosphere of the island and see the rabbits when they are at their most active—early in the morning and in the evening. One of the local experts, who has been involved in the workshop for over 40 years, helped us make a traditional bamboo pinwheel. Cute rabbits, stunning natural surroundings and one of the best-preserved old towns in Japan—Takehara in Hiroshima Prefecture is the perfect location for a charming weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. From Tokyo, take the bullet train to Fukuyama (3.5 hrs). The first stop was the Machinami Takekobo Bamboo Craft Workshop. We were sad to leave our new bunny friends, but there was a lot more to see and do in Takehara. If you come to the Rabbit Island with children, they will be definitely grateful for this trip and will remember it for a long time. Three fishing families lived on the island. The historic structures from the original building erected in 1902 remain in place with the guest rooms maintaining the authentic atmosphere of its traditional roots. Shai took a trip to Ōkunoshima, Japan, otherwise known as The Rabbit Island. It was abandoned after World War II and today, Okunoshima is home to about a thousand rabbits. The goal of the hotel is to provide guests with a comfortable stay in a traditional style with modern amenities while they experience the townscape conservation area and enjoy the delicious local food. The rabbits can be found all over the island, roaming the forests and fields and wandering through the ruins covered in ivy, seeking food at their pleasure and being awfully cute. The island was selected for its remoteness and in case there was an accident, major cities like Tokyo would be spared from disaster. Thanks! After thanking our instructor and talking to some of the other master craftsmen and women in the workshop, we headed to our next destination. Except for on a couple of islands in the far south of the country, no rabbits are native to Japan. "Poison Gas: The Story Japan Would Like To Forget". It was abandoned after World War II and today, Okunoshima is home to about a thousand rabbits. In 1925, the Imperial Japanese Army Institute of Science and Technology initiated a secret program to develop chemical weapons, based on extensive research that showed that chemical weapons were being produced throughout the … And with the Japan Rail Pass, available exclusively to visitors, you can explore them all pretty easily. To know more about offbeat places in Japan, have a look at our 2 weeks alternative Japan itinerary!. Located in the Inland Sea of Japan, this small island is accessible by ferry from Tadanoumi and Omishima. Do you like cute animals? Rabbit Island - artist island Michigan, USA, Peacebunny Island - therapy rabbits Minnesota, USA, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ōkunoshima&oldid=971799991, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 August 2020, at 09:04. This place is definitely a must-see for any serious animal lover. It has been producing top-quality nihonshu (Japanese rice wine) since 1863, and has won many awards over its 150-year history. Habu Shosen[8] now also runs direct ferries from Mihara Port to Ōkunoshima on weekends. Follow us for a well-deserved historical but still cute getaway in Takehara. But just where did all these rabbits come from? According to this Japan Times article, the island produced 5 types of chemical gas which was mostly used in warfare in China. But beneath the cuteness the island holds a surprising and dark secret. [2] A chemical munitions plant was built on the island between 1927 and 1929 and was home to a chemical weapons facility that would go on to produce over six kilotons of mustard gas and tear gas.[2]. TOKYO (5 a.m.) Markets; 103.21 ¥/$ (4 p.m.) Login ... and I want to do something to help the sick and injured bunnies on Rabbit Island, so I am writing to The Japan Times. From cat cafes in Tokyo to Snow Monkey Park in Nagoya, free roaming deer in Nara, and Rabbit Island near Hiroshima, Japan is an animal lover’s paradise. We weren’t aware … The Poison Gas Museum was opened in 1988 and "was established in order to alert as many people as possible to the dreadful truths about poison gas. You won't believe how many rabbits he met there. The island is connected to Takehara on the mainland by Chūshi Powerline Crossing, the tallest powerline in Japan. By Jessica Ocheltree 13 December, 2011 . Only a 15-minute ferry ride from the mainland, the island is a popular destination for tourists from around the world. In 1971, for unknown reasons, an elementary school off Okunoshima set eight classroom rabbits loose on the island. The island played a key role during World War II as a secret poison gas factory. Cute, sleepy bunnies near the ferry terminal. Today, "Rabbit Island's" 700,000 square-meter estate is home to a golf course, beaches, parks and even a resort hotel, notes Jaunted.com, despite the island's grim military past. Okunoshima is a lovely piece of land located in the Inland Sea of Japan that is known as ‘The Rabbit Island’ because of the hundreds of rabbits living there. When World War II ended, documents concerning the plant were burned and Allied Occupation Forces disposed of the gas either by dumping, burning, or burying it. In 1988 the Ōkunoshima Poison Gas Museum was opened. Welcome to Okunoshima – Japan’s famous and mysterious ‘rabbit island’. It was now evening, as we enjoyed a stroll along the old streets of Takehara. Japan's Rabbit Island, Okunoshima greets you with a loving population of over 900 rabbits. In 1929, the Japanese military used Okunoshima as a site for manufacturing poison gas for the war. Bunny Island – Japan’s Rabbit Island. As we begin our Journey Across Japan from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, we get lost in a quarry, stumble across an abandoned love hotel and taste Fish & Chip Pringles. In a land far, far away (or just around the corner, if you happen to live in Japan) lies an island steeped in mystery, controversy, and, well, hundreds of rabbits. It’s said they were introduced to the island in 1971, where they have thrived in an environment with no natural predators such as cats or dogs. [4] Hunting the rabbits is forbidden, and dogs and cats are not allowed on the island. Okunoshima (大久野島) is located in the Seto Inland Sea and belongs to Takehara City, not too far from Hiroshima City, in Hiroshima Prefecture (map). We explore all there is to do and see on Rabbit Island. Ōkunoshima (大久野島) is a small island in the Inland Sea of Japan. Japan has a few special places that make my animal-lover side go wild (pun intended). Step by step he took us through the process of weaving the individual bamboo sticks together to create a masterpiece. The first stop was the Machinami Takekobo Bamboo Craft Workshop. At Mihara, catch the Kure Line local train to Tadanoumi, and from there walk to the terminal and catch a ferry. Three fishing families lived on the island. Ōkunoshima (大久野島) is a small island in the Inland Sea of Japan.It is considered to be part of the city of Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture.It is accessible by ferry from Tadanoumi and Ōmishima.There are campsites, walking trails and places of historical interest on the island. The rabbits did what rabbits do best and now the 700-square-meter island is home to more than 300 of their floppy-eared descendants, earning it the nickname Usagi Shima, or Rabbit Island. There are a lot of historical and sightseeing spots here that are uncommon, yet a must-see, for tourists or even the locals at that. 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