OKUNOSHIMA: THE ISLAND OF RABBITS

Okunoshima is a very famous island, located off the coast of Hiroshima and is known for the presence of rabbits, in fact there are many tourists who visit it for this particular. There are various theories on how rabbits landed on the island. Some believe they are descended from a group of eight rabbits released by children in 1971. Others claim that they are rabbits released after World War II and used as guinea pigs. In any case, to date, they are the main attraction of the island and are treated very well, so much so that tourists always bring food for these animals, in fact rabbits are very used to contact with humans.


This island also has many exceptional beaches, as well as various campsites and golf courses.

If you don't like animals, but are still a lover of history, you can't miss this island with a dark past.

Although Japan was one of the signatories to the 1925 Geneva Protocol which prohibited chemical warfare, a secret chemical weapons factory was built two years later, in 1927, in Okunoshima.

At the end of the Second World War, about six kilotons of mustard gas and tear gas were produced in this factory. Being a little known and hidden island, it was a perfect place for these secret activities.

At the time, the government did everything possible to keep all this hidden, even removing the island from some maps. At the end of the war, the documents were destroyed and the armed forces disposed of the stored chemicals. Only several decades later, the government admitted to having committed an infringement and offered financial and medical support to the inhabitants of the area whose health had been damaged by the factory.

In 1988, a museum was established in Okunoshima to detail the island's secret past of poison gas production.


HOW TO REACH THE ISLAND

The island can be reached by ferry from Tadanoumi.