The beautiful island where not a single human lives overtaken by rabbits

One island really has given the phrase ‘breeding like rabbits’ a whole new meaning – as the furry little creatures have totally taken it over. 

Located in eastern Hiroshima, Japan’s Okunoshima Island is uninhabited by humans.

Instead it has become so populated by rabbits that it’s more famously known as Rabbit Island – with visitors being chased by the long eared critters for food.

Its official tourism website explains more and the Japanese attraction.

It says: “Located in eastern Hiroshima, Rabbit Island is a small enclave occupied by hundreds of wild rabbits that roam the forests and fields, chasing tourists for food. 

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“Only a 15-minute ferry ride from the mainland, the island is a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

“Rabbits are usually surrounded by their large families and are known for their high fertility rate.

“For these reasons, rabbits are often considered a symbol of safe childbirth and the blessings of many children.”

But the little island also has a much darker, less cute and fluffy past.

Ōkunoshima played a key role during World War II housing a poison gas factory for much of the chemical warfare that was carried out in China.

A chemical weapons plant was built on the island between 1927 and 1929 and was home to a facility that would go on to produce over six kilotons of mustard gas and tear gas.

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Now it’s home to the Ōkunoshima Poison Gas Museum – which was opened in 1988 – to educate people about the island’s dreadful role in the warfare.

The ruins of the old forts and the gas factory still exist all over the island – but entry is restricted as it’s too dangerous to explore.

Many of the rabbits are descended from rabbits intentionally let loose when the island was developed as a park after World War II. Hunting them is strictly forbidden and dogs and cats are not allowed on the island.

Tourists have been rating their experiences of visiting the island on travelsite

One user said: “The rabbits themselves range from very friendly to quite standoffish. They looked healthy in the main. 

“You can buy rabbit food at the ferry terminal at Sakari and presumably at Tadanoumi as well. We paid 150 Yen per packet. 

“There were also people on the island with cabbage leaves, which the rabbits seemed to prefer. All in all, it is a fascinating island to visit, and we wish we had been there longer.”

But another user warned that visitors won’t necessarily be swarmed by rabbits.

They said: “Will you be swarmed by lots of rabbits? Probably not. Those who come to this island during day-time would be a bit disappointed because rabbits are nocturnal, and therefore many of them are sleeping under the canopies or around the bushes (and please, do not disturb them). 

“If you want more active bunnies in action, please come here after the sunset.”

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