Submit Abstract: All You Have to Know About Bunny Island, Japan
With not one however two Cat Islands, Japan is understood for having tiny islands with vital populations of cute home animals. Chances are you’ll already know this, however there’s additionally a Bunny Island in Japan, and it’s positively a Japanese travel bucket list item!
Correctly referred to as Ōkunoshima, this small island is the place to go if you wish to see an island filled with bunnies! Like a lot of Japan, there’s extra to this place than first meets the attention. With stunning pure surroundings and intriguing historical past, there’s extra to do right here than take a look at rabbits, so right here’s what you need to know earlier than you go.
All About Bunny Island in Japan
Bunny Island Wasn’t At all times Rabbit Island
It began in 1971 when an elementary college launched simply eight rabbits on Ōkunoshima. Rabbits did what rabbits do, and the remaining is historical past. Meaning they’re not technically wild rabbits, however they’re definitely an enormous colony of feral, domesticated rabbits who’ve populated the island for properly over 40 years. To be exact, these are European rabbits or ana-usagi in Japanese.
By 2013, there have been 700 rabbits, so you possibly can solely guess what number of there are actually! We love how the lovable sight of all these rabbits has a cute background, too. Nonetheless, there aren’t thousands and thousands of them, so be sure to aren’t anticipating to see that many. It could possibly be just a bit disappointing in case you had been anticipating a literal sea of fluffy bunnies as quickly as you soar off the ferry.
Rewind additional again in time – let’s say across the early-mid twentieth century – and also you’ll discover there have been rabbits on this island again then, too, but it surely wasn’t such a cute story, as you’re about to seek out out…
Bunny Island Has A Darkish Historical past
As we speak, there’s a big kawaii enchantment to Rabbit Island. Japan, nonetheless, hasn’t all the time been about cuteness. In truth, Ōkunoshima has a teensy little bit of darkness in its early years of recent historical past. Nicely, greater than a teensy bit.
In 1927, lengthy earlier than the rabbits had been launched, the Imperial Japanese Authorities arrange a manufacturing unit that manufactured varied chemical weapons. Because the Geneva Protocol banned the usage of chemical weapons in warfare, Ōkunoshima was nearly wiped from the map. It grew to become a really secret place; even the ferry port that takes you to the island at present nonetheless boasts a thick wall separating it from the remainder of the city.
Sadly, there have been some take a look at rabbits for the chemical weapons launched in 1929, however they are saying American troops euthanized them within the late Forties. There is no such thing as a proof that the bunnies these days are direct ancestors from their wartime buddies, however I suppose a few of them might have lived and repopulated the island!
We’re accomplished with bringing you down about it, so take a look at Ōkunoshima Poison Fuel Museum to be taught extra. Visiting close by Hiroshima can simply make you overlook that Japan throughout WWII wasn’t only a sufferer, so it’s important to get some perspective, which makes Ōkunoshima a great place to go to.
Bunny Island is Not a Theme Park
Formally, Rabbit Island is a Nationwide Park Resort. The rabbits will chase you! They’re not really wild. And due to that standing, there are lots of guidelines to contemplate. We thought we’d simply run down just a few of them so that you don’t endanger the lives of those fluffy buddies.
Firstly, you need to be cautious once you cycle – rabbits aren’t all the time fast to maneuver away from visitors, together with bikes!
Feeding the rabbits human meals shouldn’t be okay! The rabbits on Rabbit Island, Japan, are completely about their very own meals, which you should buy there on the resort. Human meals isn’t for them. In truth, they’ll’t even digest potatoes correctly, so positively no chips. One other factor about feeding the rabbits right here is to be sure to don’t feed them on the highway; they’ll get distracted with their meal, and consuming on the roadside is dangerous for a rabbit.
They might look tremendous cute, however most likely the most effective rule to consider shouldn’t be chasing after or holding them. Rabbits don’t prefer to be held, and so they have sharp nails. Chasing and holding the rabbits will make them panic. Not cool!
In Japan, Rabbits Are Thought of Good Luck
Bunny Island was well-known in Japan earlier than the remainder of the world took be aware. Sure, there’s the entire kawaii enchantment of an island full to the brim with cute rabbits, however there’s additionally a special facet to rabbits in Japanese tradition that makes the island that bit extra vital.
These critters are thought of to be fortunate. They usually seem in Japanese folklore, tales, and at the same time as motifs on all method of issues – from kimono to ceramics. Rabbits are usually not solely a part of the Chinese language-influenced zodiac that Japan makes use of, however they’re additionally thought of intelligent, buddies of Shinto (native Japanese faith) gods, and are related to spring.
And one closing reality about rabbits in Japan: you already know the Man in the Moon? In Japan, there is no Man within the Moon; as a substitute, it’s a rabbit that folks see after they search for at these mild and darkish patches on a full moon. It’s not simply any rabbit both, however a rabbit making mochi (rice cake) with a specialised conventional hammer. So now you already know!
You, Will, Want To Know How To Get to Bunny Island
Rabbit Island, Japan, shouldn’t be the form of place you possibly can fly to, like Tokyo or Osaka. It’s a small island situated in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, simply off the coast from the city of Tadanoumi within the west a part of the principle island, Honshu. Already that sounds extra sophisticated than a single flight, proper? It can require some legwork to get right here, but it surely’s definitely doable.
You possibly can take the JR Kure Line east to Tadanoumi in direction of Mihara from Hiroshima. That’s fairly gradual, so you possibly can all the time go for a 25-minute Shinkansen trip from Hiroshima as a substitute. From Mihara, it’s a bus trip to Tadanoumi.
From Osaka, we advocate that you simply take the very speedy westbound Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen to Mihara and alter to the bus from there. There’s a extra sophisticated journey you are able to do, however… it’s sophisticated! Main win if in case you have the coveted JR Move to make this journey occur. Plus, having a JR Move will imply that both of those choices shall be a good suggestion for you (and your price range). When you exit the prepare station, flip proper and the ferry terminal is lower than a five-minute stroll away.
To examine the prepare schedule, look on Hyperdia, and make sure you grab a JR Pass before you arrive in Japan.
From Tadanoumi, it’s a matter of catching the ferry to Ōkunoshima (here’s the schedule). This prices 310 yen a method, takes about 20 minutes, and runs hourly, roughly. It is best to all the time examine the web site for circumstances, although. There was an enormous bunny signal letting you already know you had been on the proper spot after I was there.
Bunny Island Has A Seashore!
And never simply any seaside; it’s a reasonably good stretch of pale sand lapped by a turquoise sea. Not solely do rabbits generally congregate on the sand – which makes for a powerful sight, to say the least – however so do people.
Convey alongside one thing to put out on, be sure to pack a towel, and don’t overlook the sunscreen! Nonetheless, it’s not nearly catching some rays. Swimming right here positively makes for a refreshing factor to do on Bunny Island when the island (and most of Japan for that matter) will get utterly boiling in the summertime months. Being a part of Japan’s Inland Sea, the currents are fairly calm, so you possibly can splash round within the sea.
Followers Of City Historical past Will Love the Island of Rabbits
Due to the fascinating (however barely darkish) historical past of Rabbit Island, Japan, there are lots of previous buildings left over from varied levels of its existence. There’s the Poison Fuel Museum to go and see, in fact, however the chemical weapons manufacturing unit itself remains to be standing.
You possibly can go see the large energy plant that served the manufacturing unit; it’s an unlimited, empty concrete constructing with vines creeping throughout it that makes for an eerie journey and distinctive picture alternative (particularly for squeaky clear Japan!).
However there’s extra! Even additional again, round 1904-1905, when Japan was combating a struggle in opposition to Russia, ten forts had been constructed across the island. You possibly can go and see these too and get a way of the historical past of the place. There may be additionally an old-school lighthouse so as to add to the checklist of historic buildings that populate the island alongside the rabbits. You possibly can even go up the lighthouse for a surprisingly scenic view.
The sight of disused buildings across the place offers Rabbit Island, Japan, an attention-grabbing, virtually post-apocalyptic really feel, which is a extremely intriguing contradiction when you consider all of the bunnies right here.
Convey Your Personal Human Meals to Bunny Island
Okay, so there’s just one restaurant on Rabbit Island, and there’s additionally just one espresso store. This may be superb once you’re visiting out of season. However throughout instances like Cherry Blossom Season, Golden Week (the tip of April to early Might), and the summer season months – particularly weekends – the island will get fairly busy with guests. It’s finest to carry your personal snacks alongside.
You should buy just a few snacks on the Nationwide Park Resort Resort on the island, however our recommendation could be to select up just a few totally different food and drinks objects from considered one of Japan’s incredible comfort shops.
Proper subsequent to Tadanoumi Station itself, there’s a Household Mart, the place you possibly can decide up every part from freshly made espresso and mushy drinks to sushi and egg sandwiches. And belief us; all of it’s tasty. Convenience stores are everything in Japan.
You Can Hike On Rabbit Island
It’s truthful to say we’ve concluded that this place isn’t all concerning the rabbits. There are positively lots of issues you could possibly be doing on Rabbit Island, Japan, aside from photographing these rabbits (although they’re fairly cute). A type of issues is mountaineering.
That’s proper – there are a good few mountaineering trails on the island, which is a majorly good factor as a result of it’s an exquisite place. Not solely are you able to hint your means across the coast on varied strolling routes, however you can too make your means as much as the very best level of the island. We extremely advocate doing this.
The view from the summit of Rabbit Island is a 360-degree panorama of what the Seto Inland Sea is legendary for – islands, and many them. The sight of all these tiny islands layering up on the horizon is fairly beautiful. The trailhead for this explicit hike will be discovered between the campsite and the customer heart.
One other extra coastal stroll runs from Ōkunoshima Pier 1 and across the island’s south, the place there is no such thing as a highway – simply strolling trails. Right here is the place you’ll discover the historic lighthouse, wonderful sea views, attention-grabbing buildings leftover from instances passed by, and perhaps just a few bunnies, too!
You Can Even Keep On Bunny Island in Japan
Chances are you’ll assume that is the form of place that’s solely price a day journey and nothing extra, however there are usually not only one however just a few causes to remain on Rabbit Island in a single day. There’s the campsite which we simply talked about (with room sufficient for ten teams), and the National Park Resort Hotel, which boasts its very personal onsen (scorching spring). Even in case you select the campsite, don’t fear; you possibly can benefit from the onsen even in case you’re not a visitor – however you’ll need to pay an entry payment, in fact.
First off, and particularly if you’re visiting throughout summer season or excessive season, you could need to keep in a single day to get the place – and the rabbits – all to your self within the early morning. Secondly, staying in a single day positively offers the place a special vibe. Chances are you’ll assume it’s only a vacationer vacation spot, however you’ll have an unprecedented view of the celebrities at night time. Plus, rabbits are extra nocturnal than they’re followers of hopping round within the daytime; you’ll get to see a special facet to them, too.
Thirdly, staying right here might begin a novel method to see Japan by island-hopping across the Seto Inland Sea. This space of the nation is studded with islands, and the subsequent logical selection after Ōkunoshima is the a lot bigger Ōmishima to the south.
Catch the ferry from Pier 1 to right here. In truth, on Ōmishima, you possibly can decide up the well-known Shimanami Kaido biking route, which runs between Onomichi on the mainland and Imabari on the island of Shikoku.
How A lot Does Rabbit Island Price?
There is no such thing as a entrance payment to enter Rabbit Island. Your prices would be the prepare to get to Tadanoumi, in addition to the ferry on and off Okunoshima. You’ll additionally have to account for issues like rabbit meals, and your personal private meals.
There’s not a lot on the island moreover the museums and resort, so be sure to include sufficient money to get you something you could want. Your final probability at an ATM shall be in Tadanoumi.
Fast Japan Journey Suggestions
- ‘Hi there’ and ‘Thank You’ in Japanese: “Kon’nichiwa” and “Arigatō”
- How one can say ‘Rabbit’ in Japanese: Usagi
- Forex: Japanese Yen – (JPY) – ¥
- Visa: Most Guests to Japan can enter visa free for as much as 90 days.
- Climate: The climate on Okunoshima varies relying on season. Japan celebrates 4 seasons and there are numerous best times to visit Japan. Within the winter you possibly can count on colder, windy temperatures, whereas summer season is scorching and humid. Spring and Fall are incredible instances to go to because the air is cool and crisp.
What to Pack for Japan?
Questioning what to put on in Japan? You aren’t alone. Japan will be tough to pack for as there are such a lot of types you possibly can go along with, and naturally, each season is totally different.
We’ve traveled to Japan throughout all their 4 seasons. Most of Japan is a four-season nation, and winter journey is vastly totally different than summer season. Listed below are the important Japan packing checklist objects to carry with you relying on the season you go to!
Store For Journey Insurance coverage
We don’t journey with out journey insurance coverage, and neither must you. You by no means know what can occur abroad, and it’s finest to be ready. HeyMondo gives wonderful quick and long-term journey insurance coverage insurance policies.