Okunoshima is a small island located in the Inland Sea of Japan that can only be accessed via a ferry from the mainland. Okunoshima played a key role during World War II as a poison gas factory for much of the chemical warfare that was carried out in China.
This is evident today from the empty buildings on the island that used to be the poison gas research and manufacturing facility, as well as a museum that was opened in 1988 in order to alert as many people as possible to the dreadful truths about poison gas.
But what’s so odd about the island today is what’s made its permanent home there.
The ruins of the gas manufacturing plant.
Inside the power station that supplied the factory, both buildings stand completely empty today.
This museum opened in 1988 to educate people about the island’s poison gas role in WWII.
But what’s this?! A bunny rabbit…
…a whole bunch of bunnies!
Cuddly attention seeking bunnies.
The bunnies are the result of a group of schoolchildren releasing eight rabbits on the island in 1971.
The rabbits did what rabbits do best and now the 7,500 square foot island is home to more than 300 of their floppy-eared descendants, earning it the nickname Usagi Shima, or Rabbit Island.
What used to be a top-secret military site manufacturing poison gas is normally not exactly the kind of place you’d think to spend an idyllic afternoon feeding bunnies.
But tourists flock to the island every year to see the cuddly little guys.
Hunting the rabbits is strictly forbidden and dogs and cats may not be taken onto the island.
Looks like these rabbit found themselves a perfect little heaven on Earth.
I like to think that this island is the rabbit owner’s equivalent of a holy pilgrimage. All I know for certain is, I want to visit and be attacked by cuddly awesome bunnies.
I love how something so bad turned into something so sweet. Rabbit Island sure beats Poison Gas Island.