This rabbit’s paradise over the entire island is a veritable vacation spot
Aside from the fact that it is a resort area, Ōkunoshima is virtually a deserted island. With no vehicles on the island generally speaking, time passes slowly and there is a big feeling of a tropical resort with flora of the South Seas such as sago palm and coconut trees in abundance there. The island is also popular with the kids for its rabbits. According to a 2013 investigation, there were 700 rabbits on the island. They come off as nothing but cute when they run up to people looking for food. However, it has to be noted that there are rules in place such as the rabbits cannot be held and that food cannot be left on the asphalt roads. There are various other ways to spend time on the island. Of course, there is fishing, cycling, tennis and camping among the activities, but in the summer, beaches and pools are also open. Many families come and enjoy themselves at the extremely clear seas. People can also relax at the onsen. There are 2 observatory bathhouses, Ōkutsu-no-yu and Kokutsu-no-yu, in the main building on the island, each of which is separated into men’s and women’s areas. The view from Kokutsu-no-yu on the west side in particular is exceptional, so it’s especially relaxing to get into the onsen while seeing the sunset over the Seto Inland Sea. You can have plenty of fun during a day trip, but you can stay over for a night and have meals there as well.
An island that was erased from maps
In the early 20th century, there were farms and fields on Ōkunoshima with people living very ordinary lives. However, since the First World War, the island became important as a facility for manufacturing chemical weapons, and during the Second World War, the existence of the island was even erased from some maps. Even now, the island still has traces of gun batteries, generators and storehouses for poison gas. In the strong hopes for a lasting peace, the Poison Gas Museum was erected in the center of the island. Although Ōkunoshima still bears a sad wartime history, the lushness of nature has returned over several decades.