Rabbit Island (Ôkunoshima) [大久野島]

Okunoshima
Okunoshima
Photo : Hiroshima Prefectural Tourism Federation

Rabbits in Okunoshima
Rabbits in Okunoshima

Map of Shimanami-kaido

Rabbit Island is a small desert island, and the formal name is Ôkunoshima.

It is located about 3 km off the coast of Tadanoumi district (忠海) in Takehara city.
Tadanoumi is about 8 km east of the old town of Takehara, and is about 17 km southwest of Mihara city.

About 1,000 wild rabbits live in this island.
Most rabbits belong to the species for pet, so they are not shy of human beings.

From 1929 to 1945, the Japanese Army had produced poisonous gases for war secretly.
So this island had not been drawn on the maps at that time.

After the World War II in 1945, this island was taken over by the allied forces.
And, because of the Korean War, U.S. army used this island from 1950 to 1955.

In the 1960s, the Japanese economy shifted to a period of high growth.
So this island became one of national recreation areas.
At that time, remaining poisonous gases in the island were removed.

In 1988, Poisonous gas Museum was founded to introduce the inhuman poisonous gases and pray for peace.

Rabbits in Okunoshima
Rabbits in Okunoshima
Photo : Hiroshima Prefectural Tourism Federation

Rabbits in Okunoshima
Rabbits in Okunoshima

It is said that the first rabbits in this island were moved from an elementary school in Tadanoumi district in 1971.

Only eight rabbits were set free.
But, because of the high productive ability, the number of the rabbit became about 300 in 2007, about 700 in 2013, and the current number is over 1,000.

A media introduced this island in 2011, and many Japanese people knew it.
Then, foreign media introduced it and the foreign travellers introduced it on the net around 2014, so this island became popular rapidly.

Poisonous gas Museum in Okunoshima
Poisonous gas Museum
Photo : Hiroshima Prefectural Tourism Federation

The hotel in Okunoshima
The hotel in Okunoshima

The island is about 1.3 km from north to south and the widest part is about 0.8 km from east to west.

There is no private house, but there are a hotel and some recreational facilities.
There is the ferry port on the east coast.

To protect the rabbits, there are a few rules.

  • Don't hold the rabbit in the arm or chase it.
  • Don't feed human food. The food for the rabbit is sold at Tadanoumi Port.
  • Don't feed the food on the road. Car or bicycle may come.

The gateway to Rabbit Island Takehara Tourism Association

How to get here

By JR Kure Line, about 45 minutes by rapid train from Hiroshima to Hiro.
From Hiro to Tadanoumi, about 65 minutes by local train.

Or, from Mihara, about 25 minutes by local train of JR Kure Line.

From Tadanoumi station to the port, about 300 meters.
By ferry, about 15 minutes to Okunoshima.

Hotels in Okunoshima

Hotels in Okunoshima

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