Okunoshima, Japan’s Rabbit Island
There’s an island in Hirohima prefecture which has meant cute rabbits. Only when I was preparing to go for it I realised it has a dark past. It was a fun day trip out of Osaka and it’s worth considering when staying in Hiroshima or Osaka.
Okunoshima is accessible from many major cities in Japan. More information on going there can be found on their website.
Shin Osaka >> Mihara
I went from Osaka and required quite a few train changes, we took the train from Shin Osaka to Fukuyama then to Mihara! There are trains that go directly to Mihara but they don’t come that often.
Then we switched to the Kure Line to Tadanômi station where we walk to the port to take the ferry to the island. You might want to check the train timetables while planning your trip as the wait at Mihara can be quite long if you miss a train.
If you have a long wait, there’s a cafe in the train station where you can have a meal or just explore the visitor centre. The visitor centre tells you a lot about the area and which parts are good for tourism as well.
Kure Station >> Tadanoumi Station
The 25 minute train ride to Tadanoumi Station was a scenic one and we enjoyed it a lot. I would like to explore this area in the future too. The port is a short walk away from the station.
This is where you get your ferry tickets as well as rabbit food (which isn’t available on the island) from. It also has a cafe where you can wait for the ferry.
They sell souvenirs for the rabbit island here too.
This is the ferry that you take to the island and vehicles can go onto the island as well.
The island is quite a small one which can be covered on foot but they have free shuttle bus service to and from the resort.
Exploring Rabbit Island
National Park Resort Hotel
Here’s where a large number of the rabbits are.
The views from the island were quite pretty as well.
The rabbits are used to humans and will run to them for food. Something to take note of is holding of the rabbits is discouraged, but we can pet them.
We went into the resort for a snack and you get to eat while looking at the rabbits outside. We got fried octopus and an orange cake set. The fried octopus was so good! The orange cake was really fragrant too. Plus they use Aso milk for the milk tea, I was quite impressed.
Poison Gas Museum
Situated near the poison gas museum was the remains of the laboratory.
This shows the contrast between the poison gas representing the past and rabbit representing the present of the island
This is the poison gas museum. They don’t allow photos in the museum but it was a very interesting and sad exhibition. It shows how this island has quite a dark past and previously it was hidden from maps so they could secretly produce poison gas here too. They also show the after effects of the people working in the factories and people who were exposed to the gas in the factories and those in the Iran-Iraq war.
We walked back along the coastal trail and saw these. You can experience a rabbit’s hearing by putting your head in one of these.
You get to see more views from the island as you walk along the coast too.
There are more rabbits on the way back to the jetty and they’re really cute too! We enjoyed petting them along the way.
Overall, I thought it was nice that I got to visit Okunoshima but we only stayed on the island for about 2 hours. Our one way journey was so much more than that and our return journey took even longer. I would definitely recommend this place if you really like rabbits or are already in Hiroshima. If not, it’s quite a long journey to get there from Osaka! There’s quite a lot to do here for families and you can get more information from their website.
Okunoshima (Rabbit Island)
Tadanômi Port - 1-2-1, Tadanoumi, Takehara, Hiroshima, 729-2316, Japan