Okunoshima, the Japanese Island That’s Home to Hundreds of Wild Rabbits
Located to the east of Hiroshima prefecture, Okunoshima Island is a paradise for animal lovers: it’s teeming with wild rabbits. Although it now attracts crowds of visitors, this was a dangerous place in the 20th century due to the presence of poison gas and the arsenic level. Indeed, there was a poison gas factory on the island, which played a key role for Japan during the Second World War. The island is now free of this gas (it’s been replaced by a Poison Gas Museum, built in 1988).
Just a 15-minute ferry journey from land, Okunoshima is known for the hundreds of rabbits that roam the island freely. In fact, it has become one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Japan. Now accustomed to visitors, Okunoshima’s rabbits are happy to approach and be fed by them. However, visitors can only feed them food sold on the island.
‘Rabbit Island’, as it’s known, is also known for being a place to go if you’re looking for good luck. Indeed, rabbits are known for their particularly high fertility rate, and so are often considered a lucky charm for future births and a sign of blessing for newborn babies.
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