Ōkunoshima (大久野島) is a small island located in the Inland Sea of Japan. It is also known as Usagi Shima (うさぎ島, "Rabbit Island") because of the numerous feral rabbits that live here and it is for that reason that draws many people here. Nobody knows for sure how the rabbits got here. Some say they are the result of a scientific testing while others theorize that some children on a school trip left the original settlers here.
- From JR Mihara Station, take Kure line. Get off at Tadanoumi Station. Walk about 7 minutes to Tadanoumi Port. Take a ship to Ohkunoshima.
- From Hiroshima Bus Center, take “Kaguyahime-go”, an express bus bound for Tadanoumi Port. About a 1-hour-and-40-minute ride, get off at the last stop. Walk about 7 minutes to Tadanoumi Port. Take a ship to Ohkunoshima.
- By car: From Sanyo Expressway, Kochi IC, via Takehara city to Tadanoumi Port, it is about 25 km. Park your vehicle in the public free-parking lot at the port. Take a ship to Ohkunoshima. No cars are allowed on Ohkunoshima.
The ferry trip is about 12 minutes.
There are no cars on the island but you should be able to rent a bike from the only hotel on the island. Otherwise, you can navigate by foot. The whole island can be circumnavigated easily by bike.
There is one restaurant in the hotel.
- 1 Poison Gas Museum. 09:00-17:00, closed Tu. tells the story of the islands role in producing poison gas during World War II, and "was established in order to alert as many people as possible to the dreadful truths about poison gas." ¥100.
- Feed the rabbits - many people bring food to feed the rabbits on the island. Food has to be bought before taking the ferry. They like lettuce and carrots and will jump on top of you if cover yourself with food.
- Walk or cycle - the island has many abandoned buildings that are worth exploring, in particular the poison gas facility. There are nice views and the feral rabbits give an eerie but cute atmosphere as you wonder what happened to the island!
- Entice the rabbits - many people underestimate their power to swarm as evidenced by the "ruins" as above.
There are some campsites but there is only one hotel on the island.
- 1 Kyukamura Okunoshima (休暇村大久野島), ☏ +81-846-26-0321 (Japanese). 63 traditional Japanese rooms and two Western-style rooms. There are separate sex onsens. Although it is tempting to just visit for a day, the island is very peaceful at night. The hotel has a large public hot spring bath with beautiful views over the surrounding ocean. A buffet style breakfast (07:30-09:00) and dinner (18:00-20:00) can be eaten at the hotel restaurant, including plenty of fresh local seafood. Pool (in summer), tennis court, table tennis, Karaoke room, tea lounge, laundromat, newspaper stand, souvenir shop ¥10,200 per person breakfast and dinner included, shared bath/shower.