Aka. Usagijima, Rabbit Island (うさぎ島). I’ve seen many pictures and read many stories. I’ve always wanted to go but it just never happened until now. At first glance it’s just the cutest place to visit, but the island carries a not-so-cute past time!! It once had a poison gas factory, many workers died from horrible burns, some were left suffering for several years and died from overexposure to dangerous chemicals. Most people visit Okunoshima for the bunnies, and wouldn’t expect to uncover a dark past time. It’s evident that some creepy stuff took place on the island as there are eerie ruins and buildings that scream ‘HORROR MOVIE!’ There is a small museum near Port 1 on the island for visitors who want to learn more for 100 yen.
The rabbits are very friendly towards humans, they’ll come running towards you, especially if you have food. They’re all so fluffy and absolutely adorable! As there are no known predators on the island, the rabbits are free to roam around at their leisure. At times you’ll come across some bunnies that will have some sort of visible injury e.g. Scratched face, ripped ear, a little bloody on their fur etc. This is normal, as they are not pets and they fight for territory…food…as they do in the wild.
The atmosphere of the island is sort of tropical. I went on a Wednesday early morning, the weather was hot with the sun shining down, blue skies and there were very tall palm trees near the hotel which reminded me of Okinawa. The waters are clear, very blue and green…It somehow didn’t feel like Japan although it is Japan. I was told it would become very busy on the weekends and afternoons, so it’s always best to be an early bird if you don’t like crowds. Walking around the island is easy, I think 2-3 hours is more than enough for a good day trip. I had such a wonderful morning adventure here and would definitely recommend visiting Okunoshima.