Access, gourmet, accommodation information! Complete guide to Okunoshima (Rabbit Island)

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Okunoshima is known as Rabbit Island and is always ranked high in popular spot rankings in Hiroshima Prefecture. In this special feature, we will introduce ``Okunoshima'' as a healing spot, including how to interact with rabbits.

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1. What is “Okunoshima”?

Approximately 15 minutes by boat from Tadanoumi Port in Takehara City. Okunoshima is a small island with a circumference of approximately 4 km, located slightly west of the Shimanami Kaido that connects the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. It is part of the Seto Inland Sea National Park, where you can enjoy the seasonal changes in nature. There are beaches, camping grounds, lawns and grounds decorated with tropical plants, and at Kyukamura Okunoshima, the only lodging spot on the island, you can eat, stay overnight, and enjoy hot springs. The island is also home to over 700 wild rabbits, and is crowded with tourists throughout the year.

2. Tadanoumi Port, the gateway to Okunoshima

A ferry is required to go to Okunoshima. Tadanoumi Port in Takehara City is the gateway to this area. We recommend that you prepare thoroughly to avoid any problems when you arrive at Okunoshima. Here we will introduce information on Tadanoumi Port and surrounding restaurants.

1. Preparations before going to the island! Luggage storage, purchasing rabbit snacks, etc.

Tadanoumi Port is located a 7-minute walk from JR Tadanoumi Station. There is a shop at the port that sells rabbit goods as well as rabbit snacks, soft serve ice cream, and coffee. In addition, you can store your luggage for 500 yen per time, so if you are going on a day trip to explore the island, it would be a good idea to leave your unnecessary luggage there.

2. Satisfy your appetite at Takehara Gourmet

The only restaurants on Okunoshima are within the Kyukamura Okunoshima building, so we recommend filling up on food near Tadanoumi Port before heading to the island. In addition to enjoying seafood bowls and okonomiyaki around Tadanoumi Port, Aohata Jam Deck, famous for its jam, is also located near Tadanoumi Port. You can spend a relaxing time at the cafe corner.

3. Healing time interacting with rabbits

Now, let's finally go to Okunoshima and interact with rabbits. However, there are various rules regarding how to interact with rabbits. Here, we will introduce not only information about rabbits, but also their rules, food, and recommended spots to take photos with them. Be sure to follow the rules when interacting with rabbits.

1. Time of day when you are most likely to encounter rabbits

Rabbits are crepuscular animals. They are most active during times that are not day or night, such as early morning (twilight) and evening (twilight) . Secondly, rabbits are creatures that are sensitive to heat. Rabbits are slow to move during the day during the hot summer months, so if you want to see rabbits in action, we recommend early morning or late afternoon to night. Finally, if you want to see baby rabbits, we recommend spring and summer when they are in their birthing season. However, in late spring, rabbits hide in the mountains to give birth, so their numbers may temporarily decrease.

2. Things to be careful about when interacting with rabbits

There are some rules when interacting with rabbits.

-Rabbits are easily stressed and easily injured, so refrain from chasing or holding them . If they become ill or injured, they will no longer be able to live in the wild.

・Buses and bicycles that run on the island are dangerous vehicles for rabbits. To ensure the safety of people and rabbits , please do not interact with rabbits on roads, roadsides, or in front of building entrances . Also, please be careful of people and rabbits when driving on the island.

・Rabbits have sharp teeth and do not have very good eyesight. If you feed them by mouth, they may bite you and cause injury . Particular attention should be paid to small children.

・Rabbits can only eat limited foods. Unlike humans, if you eat a variety of foods, your body will become unwell. Do not give sweets, bread, vegetables such as green onions to rabbits . Also, rabbit food is not sold on Okunoshima. Before you go to the island, be sure to check out the stores near Tadanoumi Port.

3. Rabbit photo spot ~Everywhere on the island is a “rabbit photo spot”~

Rabbits will approach you from the moment you land on Okunoshima, so you can photograph them anywhere. Among them, we will introduce the spots that you especially want to visit with rabbits. First up is Kyukamura Okunoshima-mae. This is the place where the most rabbits gather on the island. There is also a happy incident where if you hold a rabbit snack, you will be surrounded by rabbits. Next are the ruins, such as the remains of a power plant. Being able to take photos of war ruins and rabbits at the same time is unique to Okunoshima. Finally, why not take a photo of the rabbit and the Hyokkori Observation Deck on the top of the mountain at an altitude of 100m, with the beauty of the Seto Inland Islands in the background?

[*Due to the heavy rain disaster, the road leading to the observation deck is currently closed to traffic. (January 2020)]

① In front of Kyukamura Okunoshima

This is the place where the most rabbits gather on the island. There is also a happy incident where if you hold a rabbit snack, you will be surrounded by rabbits.

② Ruins of the power plant site

Being able to take photos of war ruins and rabbits at the same time is unique to Okunoshima.

③ Hyokkori Observation Deck

A wooden deck observation deck on the highest peak of Okunoshima. With a 360-degree view of the Seto Inland Sea, the blue sky and sea and the greenery of the islands will make you forget your daily routine. Why not take a photo of the Hyokkori Observation Deck on the top of the mountain at an altitude of 100m, the rabbit, and the beautiful islands of Setouchi in the background?

④ Rabbit ear object

Rabbit ear objects of various sizes are erected along the coastline, resembling a rabbit family. This is called a sound collector, and if you put your head into it, you can listen to the sounds collected by the sound collector. You can enjoy the sounds of the wind passing through the island and the ripples of the sea, making you feel like a rabbit.

4. Kyukamura Okunoshima, the only accommodation facility on the island

This is the only accommodation facility on Okunoshima. A rare natural radon hot spring springs up in the Seto Inland Sea, and you can spend a blissful moment while watching the sunset over the Seto Inland Sea. There are also plenty of outdoor leisure facilities such as cycling, walking, tennis, fishing, and camping. The beach and pool are open in the summer, so you can enjoy resort life while interacting with rabbits. There are also dining facilities and hot spring facilities that can be used for day trips (the last flight from Tadanoumi Port leaves at 6:30 p.m.). At the shop, you can purchase souvenirs such as Usanchu goods and local sake from Takehara. How about as a memory of your trip?

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Recommended rental bicycles for touring the island

The basic means of transportation on Okunoshima is walking, but if you rent a bicycle at Kyukamura Okunoshima, you can comfortably explore the island by bicycle (normal, speed bikes, electric assist bicycles, and children's bicycles are also available) ). The rental fee for regular bicycles is 400 yen for guests staying every two hours, and 600 yen for day trips . Electrically assisted rides cost 600 yen for overnight guests and 800 yen for day-trippers every two hours . For day-trippers, a deposit of 1,000 yen is required (refundable after rental cycle is used) . By the way, a free shuttle bus runs from Okunoshima Pier to Kyukamura Okunoshima.

5. Access to Okunoshima

Let's head to Okunoshima by boat. It takes about 7 minutes on foot from the nearest JR Tadanoumi Station to Tadanoumi Port. From the port, it is approximately 15 minutes by boat from the Kyukamura passenger ship (Tadanoumi Port). One-way fare is 360 yen for adults and 180 yen for children.

1. From Hiroshima Station

From Hiroshima Station, take the Shinkansen (approx. 30 minutes / 2,290 yen for non-reserved seats), then transfer to the JR Kure Line at Mihara Station and head to Tadanoumi Station (approx. 22 minutes / 320 yen)

Alternatively, take the JR Kure Line from Hiroshima Station and head for Tadanoumi Station (required time: approximately 2 hours/1,320 yen)

2. From Onomichi Station/Fukuyama Station

From Onomichi Station or Fukuyama Station, take the JR Sanyo Main Line to Mihara Station (takes about 13 minutes/240 yen), then transfer to the JR Kure Line at Mihara Station and head to Tadanoumi Station. (Time required: Approximately 22 minutes/320 yen)

3. From Mihara Port

Limited to Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays! The high-speed boat route `` Rabbit Line '' connects Mihara Port, Sunami Port and Okunoshima.

On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays when Tadanoumi Port, the gateway to Okunoshima, is particularly busy, high-speed boats operate six times a day from Mihara Port, which is about a 5-minute walk from JR Mihara Station, to Okunoshima. (Time required: 30 minutes one way / Mihara Port - Okunoshima 2,400 yen (round trip), Sunami Port - Okunoshima 1,600 yen (round trip))

Mihara Station stops on the Shinkansen "Kodama", JR Kure Line, and Sanyo Main Line.

You can also take a direct limousine bus from Hiroshima Airport to Mihara Station in 38 minutes, or take a bus to JR Shiraichi Station and transfer to the Sanyo Main Line.

If you are driving, it is convenient to use the free parking lot at Sunami Port.

6. Have a relaxing time on Usagi Island

Okunoshima is a small island with a circumference of approximately 4km, but you can spend a relaxing time surrounded by the beautiful nature of the Seto Inland Sea. How about a relaxing trip to Hiroshima where you can interact with rabbits?

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Hiroshima Prefecture is not just about the world heritage sites of Miyajima and the Atomic Bomb Dome. Hiroshima is full of delicious food! Okonomiyaki, which is synonymous with Hiroshima, fresh seafood such as oysters, octopus, sea bream, and conger eel, Onomichi ramen, which is now nationwide, Hiroshima beef, which is highly regarded for its high meat quality, handmade soba, lemons and oranges, which are the largest producers in Japan.・Abundant food resources such as grapes are unique to Hiroshima. Many events unique to the region are also held, such as the sea festival, kagura, and Mibu flower rice planting. Cycling, trekking, skiing and snowboarding on the Shimanami Kaido will keep you active. Miyajima, which is registered as a World Heritage Site, and the Atomic Bomb Dome are not the only attractions, and there are many ways to enjoy it.

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