Okunoshima may seem like a fantastic island for rabbit lovers, but it hides a deep, dark secret within its abandoned walls.
Located in the heart of the Seto Inland Sea, Okunoshima is a hotspot for explorers who love abandoned buildings. There are plenty of interesting and bizarre places which you are free to enter and explore. Some of the more dangerous buildings have been cordoned off, so unfortunately (or fortunately I suppose if you look at it positively), you will not be able to have complete freedom in the adventurous desires within you. However, these building housed dark secrets for decades. It was a secret island in which Japanese soldiers stored and tested chemical and biological weapons on Chinese soldiers during World War II. Apparently, trains going past the coast where the island was visible instructed its passengers to close their window blinds as they passed.
But why are there so many rabbits? Rumour has it that in the 1970s, a class of primary school students released some pet rabbits on the island as a sign of peace. As there were no predators on the island, the rabbits bred until the island was swamped with the little bunnies. Nowadays, tourists mainly come for the rabbits and the rabbits themselves have become accustomed to the tourists as a food source. They were certainly unafraid, and if anything, quite aggressive if they knew you had food. Rabbit food pellets are available for purchase on the island for you to feed them, but some others choose a healthier option of bringing vegetables with them. I saw an abandoned head of cabbage alongside the abandoned buildings.
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you visit. Just keep in mind the historical significance of the island whilst you enjoy exploring the island and feeding the rabbits.
Directions: Take the JR to Tadanoumi Station and take a boat from the port.