Rabbit Island: A Japanese holiday resort for bunnies

Tokyo: Welcome to Usanag Jima (or Rabbit Island), the cutest of all islands that are occupied by wild animals.

Why? The reason is simple. As the name suggests, it is run with hundreds of cute and cuddly bunny rabbits! Located in the East Sea/Inland Sea of Japan, the small island was once the production site of Japan’s chemical weapons during WWII and later consigned to darkness for its devastating nature of business. Today it appears in social media posts and viral videos thanks to the hundreds of cute rabbits that roam the island and chase tourists!

Of course, Japan being the birthplace of kawaii – the distinct cultural appreciation of all things cute – the bounding herds of friendly rabbits are a much bigger attraction than the Poison Gas Museum. But although the source of the rabbits remains a mystery, it may be that the origins of the island’s fluffy residents is intertwined with its history as manufacturer of chemical weapons.

Between 1929-1945, the Japanese army secretly produced over 6,000 tons of poison gas on Okunoshima, which was removed from maps of the area and chosen because of its discreet location and distance from civilian populations. At the time, an unfortunate colony of rabbits was brought to the island in order to test the effects of the poison.

If you like anything cute that bounds and runs, head to this island, merely thirty minutes ferry ride from Tadanoumi port  (near Hiroshima). Locals believe that in 1971 a primary school outside of the island released eight rabbits onto the island and since then the numbers grew to thousands. It doesn’t seem as though anyone is complaining!

 

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