Plan your visit to Okunoshima (Rabbit Island), a small island off the coast of Hiroshima prefecture, considered to be part of the city of Takehara. Okunoshima is occupied by around 1000 friendly rabbits that roam the forests and fields, chasing visitors for food. The island is a popular destination for tourists from around the world.
Transportation to Okunoshima (Rabbit Island)
How to get to Tadanoumi station
The easiest way to get to Tadanoumi station is a 25 minute ride from Mihara, or either a 20 minute bullet train ride from Hiroshima, or 100 mins from Shin-osaka. All Kodama Shinkansen Super Express coming from both Hiroshima and Osaka stops at Mihara Station. It takes about 20 minutes from Hiroshima and less than 2 hours from Osaka to reach Mihara Station. The ride from Mihara goes down the coast, and the views were very beautiful. I recommend getting the Japan Rail Pass if you are visiting Okunoshima. Japan Rail Pass accepted up to Tadanoumi JR Station but not for ferry services.
Ferry to Okunoshima (Rabbit Island)
The only transportation to Okunoshima is via a 15 minute ferry from Tadanomi Port that leaves roughly, every 30-45 minutes. Tadanomi Port is about a 5 minute walk from Tadonoumi station. Be sure to buy a ticket for the ferry before going into the line to get on the boat. The tickets can be bought in a vending machine located inside a beautifully decorated building right in front of the port. This building also holds a gift shop where you can get cute rabbit island souvenirs, and a free stamp. They also sell rabbit food here, there will be no rabbit food on the island. The first ferry leaves at 7:30 from Tadonomi Port and the last ferry out of Okunoshima is 19:15, although it is safe to leave boats before the last one so you do not get stuck on the island.
Transportation within Okunoshima (Rabbit Island)
There is a free shuttle bus or a 15-minute walk right from the port in Okunoshima that will take you to the National Park Resort Hotel on the island, where many rabbits welcome tourists. Of course, many rabbits can be seen on the way to the hotel, and the sidewalk along the shore is spectacular.
It takes about 4 hours to walk around the island, and is around four kilometers long. 3-4 hours should be enough time to feed the friendly rabbits and circle the island. I personally spent about 4 hours on the island.
Hotel and Food
There is only one hotel, Kyukamura Ohkunoshima. If you plan to stay overnight, advance hotel reservation is advised as accommodation is limited around the area. The hotel on the island is not always available for last-minute visitors, especially during high seasons.
There is also a camping site with three different options. “fashionable site” where One pole tent already set up on the wood deck. Carpets, rugs, and small items are available in the tent. We are producing a slightly fashionable camp that is different from usual. From 14,000 yen per night (BBQ with Hiroshima beef or buffet at the hotel) Information can be found here. “Empty-handed camping site” From July 2021, the empty-handed site will have a wooden deck. It is easy camping with a tent that has been set up. Enjoy a comfortable camping life with an air bed. 8,500 yen with ingredients, 11,000 yen with ingredients. There is a Free tent site with a fee of 3600 yen.
There is only one restaurant and cafe on this island, both located in the Kyukamura Ohkunoshima hotel. Because of this reason, it is advised to bring your own snacks and drinks.
A five-minute walk from the hotel is a beach where you can enjoy some waves, sand, and rabbits while relaxing. Shower rooms and snack booths are available during summer seasons.
360 Panoramic Ocean View
Head to the summit of Rabbit island to see and amazing 360 degree panoramic ocean view.
Ōkunoshima Poison Gas Museum
In 1925, the Imperial Japanese Army nstitute of Science and Technology initiated a secret program to develop chemical weapons. Japan wanted to keep this program a secret, and chose Okunoshima as an island and created a chemical munitions plant between 1927 and 1929 and became home to chemical weapons facility that went on to produce over six kilotons of mustard gas and tear gas.
Japan went to great lengths to keep the chemical munitions plant a secret, even going so far as to remove records of the island from some maps. The island was chosen for its isolation, security, and distance from Tokyo and other areas in case of disaster
In 1988, the Ōkunoshima Poison Gas Museum was opened.
They say that there are around 1000 rabbits in total on this island. Most of them are descended from rabbits intentionally let loose when the island was developed as a park after World War II. Though they can be found everywhere, a lot can be found around the hotel, since that’s where the most people congregate, and the rabbits can get the most food there. The rabbits are very friendly and will get closer to you the moment they notice you have food.
Rules on Okunoshima (Rabbit Island)
- Do not hold the Rabbits
- Do not chase the Rabbits
- Do not feed rabbits on the roads
- Do not leave Rabbit Food leftovers
- Rabbits do not eat dampened pellets or spoiled vegetables. These attract crows which interfere with rabbits.
- Do not feed rabbits with human food
- Please refill water pans (Water is scarce on the island, especially around the hotel. Please refill the water pans around the island wherever possible)
- More rules can be found on their official website
More rules can be found on their official website
- If you buy rabbit food from the building where ferry tickets are bought on Tadanoumi, be sure to return the empty bags to the shop to receive a free postcard!The port’s gift shopoffer free original postcards to stamp on in exchange for the empty bags of our rabbit food purchased at the port. An original commemorative rabbit stamp is available at the port.
- Buy a Japan Rail Pass to save money on transportation if you are traveling to multiple cities within Japan.
- 5 minutes away from the port is 7/11 where you can get snacks for the island and even get rabbit food for a good price. You can also go to Lawson and a supermarket nearby to buy rabbit food.
- There is a short-term luggage-keeping service is available by the ferry that charges 500 yen per bag, and there is free public wifi on the port as well.
- There are no ATMs or convenience stores on the island so make sure to bring enough cash with you to the island.
- Spend a total of 5-6 to fully experience Okunoshima (Rabbit Island) and go all the way around the island and and the summit.
Overall experience on Okunoshima (Rabbit Island)
I’m so glad I went here, and it truly isn’t too hard to get to. I was able to relax and become one with nature, as well as integrate myself with the bunnies. This was part of a 2-week trip traveling all throughout Japan, but this island was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. I slightly wish that I spent more time, and I hope you get to go and experience the same kind of peace that I had!
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