Rabbit Island (Okunoshima)

An island off the coast of Hiroshima, Okunoshima, is well-known for its adorable population of rabbits. Many visitors are drawn to the island to see these cute critters, but little do they know that Okunoshima also has a dark and tragic history. In this article, we will explore the island’s attractions, its fluffy bunny inhabitants, and the disturbing past that it holds.

Okunoshima is accessible by ferry from Tadanoumi, which is located on the JR Kure Line. Another ferry to the island leaves from Omishima. Once you arrive at the island, you will be greeted by an abundance of fluffy bunnies.

Rabbit Island (Okunoshima)

While there is no exact count of how many rabbits currently live on the island, their numbers continue to grow due to the absence of natural predators and the prohibition of cats and dogs on the island.

Some believe that the rabbits are descendants of a small group of eight rabbits released by school children in 1971, while others claim that they were test subjects released after World War II. Regardless of their origin, the rabbits have become the main attraction of Okunoshima.

These docile creatures have become so accustomed to human contact that they are practically domesticated. Visitors are encouraged to buy food and feed the rabbits, adding to the island’s charm. However, it is advised to be prepared to run when you run out of food, as the rabbits are known to chase after anyone with food in their hands.

Rabbits have become the main attraction of Okunoshima

Aside from the rabbits, Okunoshima has many other attractions to offer. The island boasts beautiful beaches and campgrounds, providing visitors with opportunities for relaxation and outdoor activities. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or exploring the island’s various landmarks, the presence of the rabbits adds an extra element of cuteness to your experience.

Despite its popularity as a tourist spot, Okunoshima has a tragic past. During World War II, a secret chemical weapons factory was built on the island. This factory produced mustard gas and tear gas, despite japan being a signatory to the 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibiting chemical warfare.

The government went to great lengths to keep the factory a secret, even removing the island from some maps and withholding information from the locals. As the war came to an end, the stockpiled chemicals were disposed of by the Allied forces and documents were destroyed.

Okunoshima Island Poison Gas Museum

It wasn’t until decades later that the government acknowledged their wrongdoing and offered support to those in the area who had been affected by the factory.

To shed light on the island’s dark history, a museum was opened on Okunoshima in 1988. The museum presents the island’s secret past of poison gas manufacturing in a detailed and unflinching manner.

Ruined military outposts can be found scattered around the island, serving as a reminder of the atrocities that took place there. Despite the somber nature of the museum, it plays a vital role in educating visitors about the island’s past and promoting a brighter future.

In conclusion, Okunoshima is a unique destination that offers both adorable encounters with fluffy bunnies and a sobering glimpse into Japan’s history. The island’s large population of rabbits, which are well cared for and accustomed to human interaction, is a major draw for visitors.

Rabbit Island (Okunoshima)

Additionally, the island’s beautiful beaches, campgrounds, and landmarks provide ample opportunities for relaxation and exploration. However, it is important to acknowledge and learn from the island’s dark past as a former site of a chemical weapons factory.

The museum on Okunoshima serves as a reminder of the atrocities that were committed and seeks to promote awareness and understanding. So, whether you’re an animal lover or a history buff, Okunoshima is a destination that should not be missed.

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Takehara-shi, Hiroshima-ken : Find Location And Direction On Google Maps

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