Okunojima Island in Hiroshima Prefecture has recently become a popular place to interact with wild local rabbits. It is just a tiny island that sits in the Seto Sea.
There are a huge number of islands within the Seto Inland Sea, but this one has a totally unique vibe. All those cute bunnies are waiting for you!
The island once had a dark history as a poison gas factory right up until the conclusion of the 2nd world war, after which it was erased from the maps. Now that history is forgotten in this rabbit paradise!
The island has become quite a drawcard and attracts many visitors these days.
How To Get To Okunosima Station
We recommend taking the scenic Kure Line. This train is the best way to start your trip.
The JR Kure Line starts at Hiroshima Station and runs in the direction of Hiroshima and from Mihara Station in the direction of Okayama.
The JR Kure Line is a scenic line that runs right alongside the Seto Inland Sea, and the single-track line is a great way to get a feel for traveling!
Just be sure to check the timetable carefully, as trains are especially scarce at the nearest station to Usagi Island Okunojima, Tadakai Station. There is one train every 1 to 1.5 hours from Mihara Station to Chukai Station.
Taking the ferry to Rabbit Island
Once you arrive at Chukai Station, walk about 7 minutes to Chukai Port. From Chuhai Port, a 12-minute boat ride will take you to the pier at Okunojima.
As soon as you arrive at the port, you will notice a strange object that resembles a rabbit’s ear.
Feeding The Rabbits
Rabbits’ food of choice seems to be cabbage and carrots. Go prepare them in advance at your local supermarket!
Best to tear up the cabbage!
But once you give it to them, they remember who you are and keep coming to you.
Rabbits will eat everything in sight in the morning, but they seem to get full of food later in the day as more tourists arrive.
If you visit in the morning, you will surely be a target of the rabbits.
On Island Accommodation
If you want to play with the rabbits a lot, you’ll have to stay the night.
To stay the night, go to the island’s only lodging, Kikkusoku-mura Okunojima.
Free shuttle bus service is available.
All rooms face out to the beautiful Seto Inland sea, and don’t forget to take a relaxing dip in the hot spring onsen on site.
There is also a Setouchi buffet where you can enjoy the Seto Inland Sea to the fullest.
Returning From Okunoshima Rabit Island
Note that there are two ports (piers) on Okunojima!
They are about 10 minutes walk between them, so even if you realize it when you make a mistake, it may be too late…
Almost all the boats arrive and depart from the second pier.
Aohata Jam factory
After returning from the island, a tour of the Aohata Jam factory is recommended. Aohata Jam, which everyone has seen before, is located here in Chungkai.
Not only can you tour the factory, but you can also make a jam (reservation required).
There is also a café, so after returning from Okunojima, how about taking a break on the Sky Deck overlooking the Seto Inland Sea?
Rabit Island Rules
Okunoshima, better known as the Island of the Rabbits, welcomes visitors who wish to interact with the tender inhabitants of the Island. For maximum enjoyment, people are required to comply with certain standards of behavior and protection, such as:
- If you want to feed the rabbits, please, the food must be purchased at the port of Tadanoumi.
- Small animals should not be held or chased.
- Rabbits are generally afraid of being held and will fight to escape.
- Living in the wild means that they do not have access to veterinarians in case of injury; therefore, they must be left free to minimize the risk of injury.
- It is important to take into account that, on the roads, rabbits should not be given food because the roads are traveled with bicycles, and while they eat, the rabbits are too concentrated and do not notice the traffic.
- When trying to escape at the last minute, they can collide with bicycles or even other types of vehicles.
- It is appreciated not leaving food scraps.
- Rabbits do not eat wet skin or spoiled vegetables. These residues attract crows.
- In addition, leaving food near their nest means filtering out the whereabouts of baby rabbits to their predators.
- Rabbits that have been kept as pets cannot survive on the island as the rabbits are too territorial, and the “strangers” will be harassed and beaten by the local inhabitants.
- Do not forget to check under your car because there could be rabbits there as it is an ideal place to hide from the direct sun and its predators. Make sure to check under your car as they can remain even after the engine is started.