We have a pet rabbit at home. She is an Old English Spot. Our house is being taken over by rabbit goods that my daughter collects. So When I found about Okunoshima, we just had to go there. My daughter was super excited to visit Rabbit Island.
Only problem was that it is not so easy to reach there from Fukuoka by train. We took Shinkansen from Kokura to Mihara, then changed to JR Kure Line to Tadanoumi (around 20min). Transfer at Mihara station is crazy. You have only 5 minutes to walk from Shinkansen platform to JR Kure Line platform. With two suitcases and a little girl who is daydreaming about rabbits was pretty tough. I studied the layout of Mihara station in advance and planed well for this short transfer. Yet, at the crucial moment, my daughter dropped her hat, and I had to drag the suitcases up stairs for a short cut to the platform… We managed!
When you get off the train after 20 minutes or so at Tadanoumi, you have to walk about 10 minutes to Tadanoumi ferry port. The guide book says 7 minute easy walk. It wasn’t for me with two suitcases and the still daydreaming child. It was more like 12 minutes. You have to walk cross the train line (pay attention to suitcase wheels not to get stuck in between the rails). Buy the boat ticket and off you go!
No tourist cars are allowed on Onunoshima. If you come by car to the ferry port, you have to leave your car there.
Yes, as soon as we arrived on the island, rabbits were everywhere. Something like 700 of them live on this island. They are used to people but still wild.
I heard that rabbits come out more in early morning and evening in summer. It is too hot during the day in summer time. A lot of them stay in the shade and sleep during the day. See the picture above. They were under a truck, staying away from the beaming sun.
Most people visit the island as a day tripper. We stayed the night as we wanted to see rabbits in action in the evening, too. After dinner, we went outside to feed rabbits. They were more active than earlier. They come up to you to beg for food. My daughter loved it.
When you visit this island, make sure to buy rabbit food before reaching the ferry port. They don’t sell rabbit food on Rabbit Island… Only silly little bags of rabbit foods are sold at the ferry ticket office. We knew about it. We bought a large bag of rabbit food at a supermarket even before getting on Shinkansen.
Another thing to remember is to rent a bike. It is better to cycle on the island. They also hire out fishing equipment.