Okunoshima Island is a little island in the Seto Inland Sea, off the coast of Takehara in Hiroshima Prefecture. The island is overrun by hundreds of feral rabbits who, after becoming more comfortable seeing the new faces of tourists, love to be fed and petted by visitors. The rabbits were let free across the island after World War 2, and are cared for by the locals. Travel throughout the village, and keep your eyes peeled for pairs of long ears hiding behind buildings or under bushes. In many places you don't have to search very hard to find a cuddly companion; you might easily spot them wiggling their cute noses under a tree or on a hill. Spotting the rabbits can be a fun game to play with friends, especially if you come with a small bag of rabbit food, which can be purchased before boarding a ferry to the island.
All the rabbits have grown up in the wild on Okunoshima, so while they don't like being held, they do like being fed and gently petted, and will even calmly approach people. Being protected by Japan, it is forbidden to take the rabbits home or hunt them, and predators such as dogs are not allowed on the island. You can walk the island, feeding the rabbits and enjoying their peaceful company to your heart's content, or you can also rent a bicycle to ride across the island. In the summer, visitors can enjoy a unique beach experience, as rabbits will even gather there. Or you can climb to the summit of Rabbit Island for a panoramic 360-degree view of the surrounding Seto Inland Sea.
For travelers looking to take a piece of their rabbit-watching experience home with them, Okunoshima does have a small cafe and gift shop at the port, which sells various cute rabbit themed items. But undoubtedly the best things you would take a way from a visit to Okunoshima Island are the unforgettable memories (and pictures) of one of Japan's most adorable island-hopping destinations!