From Poison Gas to Adorable Rabbits: Exploring the Mysterious Okunoshima Island
Okunoshima is a small island located in the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima Prefecture. The wild bunnies found all over the island has earned it the nickname "Rabbit Island." However, the island wasn't always so pleasant - it has a dark history of poison gas production, and is also famous for its many abandoned buildings. Take a visit to Okunoshima, a mysterious island full of contradictions!
Jun 13 2019 (Jun 27 2022)
What's So Special About Okunoshima?
This tiny 4 km island was once removed by the Japanese government from maps. From the mid 1920s, the island was managed with the purpose of producing poison gas, and was kept hidden in order to protect this top secret program.
Today, many sightseers come to the island to explore the abandoned buildings. Remains of the island's poison gas storehouses, barracks, and power plant still exist. Okunoshima feels like exploring a mysterious, lost world, making for a fun and thrilling adventure to uncover as many relics as you can!
Thankfully, the island has now been designated as a national park, and is also known for the hundreds of wild rabbits that live there. These rabbits are all of the European variety, so they live by making burrows all over the island. They are mostly unafraid of humans, and will often approach you, making for plenty of heartwarming moments!
It takes about 12 minutes to reach Okunoshima by boat from Tadanoumi Port in Takehara, making it surprisingly accessible.
Power Plant Ruins
One of the biggest abandoned buildings on Okunoshima is the site of the former power station. The deterioration of the building has made it dangerous, so visitors are not permitted to enter, but you'll be able to walk up to the front of the building. Enveloped in a unique atmosphere, this horror game-esque building is sure to make you feel the depth of history.
Okunoshima Poison Gas Museum
There were many victims of the poison gas produced on Okunoshima. This museum was created to tell this history and ensure that the painful truth is not forgotten.
Through authentic documents, relics of the time, and more, the museum educates visitors on the production of poison gas and the horrors of war, all the while emphasizing the importance of peace.
Okunoshima Camping Ground
If a day-trip isn't enough, you can camp on Okunoshima while being surrounded by nature and a stunning ocean view! Best of all, all the gear you'll need is available for rent - including a tent! There's also a campfire spot, hot spring, and of course, plenty of cute rabbits!
Okunoshima Island: A Bizarre Mismatch of Cute Rabbits and Dark History
For such a small island, Okunoshima has so much to offer. From intriguing history to adorable rabbits, and plenty of encounters with the great outdoors, you're sure to have a wonderful time!
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Translated and republished with permission from：Relux Magazine
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.