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Okunoshima Island: How to Spend One Day on Rabbit Island in Japan

Okunoshima Island is a small island in the Inland Sea of Japan and is part of Takehara City in Hiroshima Prefecture. The island is also called Usagi no Island (Okuno Island) but many people know this island as the Rabbit Island because of the large population of bunnies that roam freely.

Historically, Okunoshima Island played a key role during WWII as a chemical lab producing poisonous gas. Then rabbits were released onto the island after the war to spot poison gas leaks. Today, over 1,000 rabbits live on the island and is the main reason why people visit this island.

During a day trip to Okunoshima Rabbit Island, you can comfortable walk around the perimeter of the island and see historical sites, war ruins, and of course, many friendly rabbits. And you can hike up to the summit and see a panoramic view of the area.

Keep reading and learn how you can see the Bunny Island in one day. It is an excellent day trip from Hiroshima, Onomichi and other cities in Hiroshima Prefecture.

What you need to know before visiting Okunoshima Rabbit Island

Before visiting all the rabbits on Okunoshiam Island, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Japan. I included a lot of tips on how to get around Japan and other travel tips.

Here are a few additional travel tips that you may find useful for your Okunoshima Island day trip:

  • It is possible to see the entire Rabbit Island in 2 to 3 hours. The island has a circumference of 4.3km. Or stay longer and hang out with the furry animals.
  • Book your accommodation in advanced if you are staying overnight. There is only one hotel on the Bunny Island.
  • Buy rabbit food at Rabbit Island Ferry Terminal Shop. This is the only place you can get food for the little furry friends. The island doesn’t sell any.
  • There are two luggage storage options: Rabbit Island Ferry Terminal Shop for ¥500 and coin lockers for ¥200-300 on Okunoshiam Island.

How to Get to Okunoshima Island

The best way to get to Okunoshima Island is via Tadanoumi Port. First you need to take JR train to Tadanoumi Station on the JR Kure Line. Once you arrive at the train station, walk east and follow the signs for Tadanoumi Port.

Ferry from Tadanoumi

Buy a ticket (¥360 one way or ¥720 return) from the machine at the Rabbit Island Ferry Terminal Shop and take the next ferry from Tadanoumi Port to Okunoshima Island. The 15-minute ferry leaves the port every 15-30 minutes or so. The first ferry departs at 7:30am and the last one returns at 7:15pm.

There is a short-term luggage service (¥500) at the terminal shop. This is also where you can buy rabbit food.

FYI – If you are coming from Hiroshima, Geiyo Bus operates four Kaguyahime-go express bus from Hiroshima Station to Tadanoumi Station daily. The bus journey takes about 90 minutes and costs ¥1,350.

Other ways to get to Okunoshima Japan

There are two other ways of getting to Okunoshima Rabbit Island. These options are helpful if you are coming from Omishima Island or Mihara.

Ferry from Omishima Sakari Port

Some ferries that travels from Tadanoumi Port to Okunoshima Island continues to Omishima Sakari Port on Omishima Island in the Seto Inland Sea. The schedule is less frequent but it is possible to visit the Bunny Island from Omishima Island. The journey takes 15 minutes and costs ¥370.

Ferry from Mihara Port

Yuba Kisen runs the “Rabbit Line” / Mihara – Sunami – Okunoshima Island Route from Mihara Port to Sunami Port to Okunoshima Port. There are five round trips daily and journey takes 30 minutes and costs ¥1,500. It only runs on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Reservation is required.

Okunoshima Rabbit Island: Attractions Summary and Map

Here is the summary of my my Okunoshima Island itinerary:

  1. Okunoshima Visitor Center
  2. Okunoshima Island Poison Gas Museum
  3. Kyukamura Ohkunoshima
  4. Rabbit Ear Sound Collector
  5. Okunoshima Lighthouse
  6. Hyokkori Observatory Deck
  7. Central Battery Remains
  8. Northern Gun Battery Ruins
  9. Power Plant Ruins
  10. Rabbits on Okunoshima Island

Below is an interactive map with all the highlights on Okunoshima Rabbit Island. Follow the red-numbered pins and read the description below.

Okunoshima Island One Day Itinerary

1. Okunoshima Visitor Center

Once you arrive at Okunoshima Island, there is a building which is the Ferry waiting area. It has bathrooms and coin lockers (it is cheaper than the ferry terminal shop).

Outside is the Kyukamura shuttle bus stop. There is a free shuttle bus from the ferry pier to Kyukamura Ohkunoshima and back. It runs every 30 minutes or so between 8:30am to 5pm.

If you don’t take the shuttle, walk 10 minutes or so around the south part of the island in a clockwise direction towards Okunoshima Visitor Center (9am-4pm; closed Wednesdays). On the day I went, the visitor centre was closed even though it wasn’t a Wednesday. But might be worth checking out.

There is a camp site on the way and you can find some bunnies hiding in the shade. They will run towards you and hope you will feed them.

2. Okunoshima Island Poison Gas Museum

Okunoshima was Japan’s secret island to make poisonous gas between 1929 and the end of WWII. In 1988, the main chemical lab was converted to Okunoshima Island Poison Gas Museum.

When you visit the small museum, you can see the displays in two rooms which includes the basic overview of the chemical plant, how poison gas was made on the island and its effects on humans. Descriptions are in Japanese but has English translation as well.

It opens from 9am-4pm and costs ¥150. I went in between 1:30pm and 2:30pm but it was closed due to electricity shortage. Not sure if that is common on the island so go early!

3. Rabbit Ear Sound Collector

On the way to the next attraction, there are four sets of sound collectors at different heights. You put your head in one of these Rabbit Ear Sound Collectors and you can listen to the sound gathered in the rabbit ears.

These whimsical objects along the coastline are fun and this is also a cute photo spot. There’s a stand in front of the four sound collectors so you can take a photo of yourself – excellent for anyone visiting the island solo.

4. Okunoshima Lighthouse

Continue walking towards the south part of Okunoshima Island. And on the way, there is a small beach with turquoise water and Okunoshima Beach Visitor Center. I think the centre sells drinks during summer but it was closed when I went (in late May).

Keep following the guided path and stairway, it will lead you to the Okunoshima Lighthouse. To be honest, there’s not much to see because the lighthouse is behind the wooden gate. But I think wandering around the southern tip is fun especially with all the scenic surroundings and the occasional bunny sightings.

5. Kyukamura Ohkunoshima

Meander through the south part of Okunoshima Island and walk towards the west side of the island and soon you will approach Kyukamura Ohkunoshima, the only hotel on the island.

The hotel might be a good spot to grab some food if you are hungry. There are two places to eat: Restaurant Usanchu (11:30am-1:30pm) and Usanchu Cafe (10am-6pm). I included the menu for both places.

I read somewhere that during high season, both places can be quite busy. So perhaps bringing some food and have a little picnic on the island is also a great option.

Besides food, the hotel also has a daytime hot spring facilities (11:30am-3pm; ¥550; no tattoos), a bicycle rental, a souvenir shop, and some vending machines.

And if you want to stay overnight at Kyukamura Ohkunoshima, make sure to book ahead.

6. Hyokkori Observatory Deck

When you leave the hotel, continue on the paved road on the west side of the island and soon you will see a baseball diamond. Turn right and walk towards the trees and find the trail entrance to Hyokkori Observatory Deck. The marked stairway goes up 100m in elevation where you will reach an observatory platform and see 360 degree view of the entire area.

The trail itself is not super difficult but it could be hot on a warm day. Make sure to bring sun protection like sunscreen, hat, etc.

And you won’t get lost – there’s only one path going up. Google Map doesn’t show the hiking path but I included a screenshot from Maps.me showing the trail entrance (1), the hiking trail to Hyokkori Observatory (2) and trail towards the north end of the island.

7. Central Battery Remains

Keep following the trail to the north part of the island. After the observation deck, walk north and eventually the path splits. Take the path on the right and soon you will see the Central Battery Remains. The buildings look completely abandoned and a bit eerie.

There is a stone stairway that goes to the top of the Central Battery Remains. Walk up the stairways and there’s an area that overlooks the west side of Okunoshima Island.

Keep walking north and the path will eventually lead to a long stairway that will take you to the north part of Okunoshima Island.

8. Northern Gun Battery Ruins

At the bottom of the long stairway is the Northern Gun Battery Ruins. These are the remains of the old Okuno-jima Fort from 1902 which includes a power station, underground barracks, cannons, storehouses and observation post.

These ruins remain pretty intact. Wander around the area and see what you can find.

FYI – a few signs in this area indicated that there are things to see at the most northern tip of the island. I wandered there and didn’t see much since the area was fenced off. Perhaps this will open in the future? If the area is closed off, continue walking east to the next attraction.

9. Power Plant Ruins

Follow the paved path towards down the gentle hill and soon you will see the Power Plant Ruins. This building had eight diesel generators and supplied electricity for the entire island during WWII. And after the war, the building was used as an ammunition depot.

The remains of the power plant can be seen today, but you can only see the structural walls from afar. Keep walking on the path and exit through the tunnel on the other side. The ferry pier is not far away.

10. Rabbits on Okunoshima Island

And of course, there are rabbits! There are actually rabbits everywhere on the island and not only at the end of this itinerary.

It is said that the rabbits were intentionally let loose when the island was developed as a national park after WWII. Apparently, there are about 1,000 rabbits on the island and they roam around the fields and chase tourists for food. Make sure to buy rabbit food at the Rabbit Island Ferry Terminal Shop (I forgot to so I didn’t get to feed them).

Also, don’t feed rabbits human food and don’t leave rabbit food behind. And as cute as they are, don’t try to take one home. It is best to gently interacting with them by feeding pellet food (from the store) and refilling their water pans.

Is Okunoshima bunny island worth visiting as a solo traveller

OMG! Absolutely! I was travelling between Onomichi and Hiroshima and decided to make a day trip to the Japanese rabbit island and it was one of the best day trips I have ever taken.

The journey from Onomichi and to Hiroshima was long but I still thoroughly enjoyed the day. I walked around the entire bunny island, saw lots of rabbits and had a little picnic all within 3 hours. Not exactly a full day but I could’ve stayed longer if I had rabbit food which I forgot to buy.

So make sure you get the rabbit food at the store before getting on the ferry. I will guarantee you will have the best time! If you followed this itinerary, let me know what you think of the Okunoshima Island and all your bunny interactions.

Thank you for reading my Okunoshima itinerary

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Japan:

Introduction to Japan

Chugoku region

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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