From 大久野島 to ウサギ島
From secrecy and death to joy and life, this little island with a dreadful past has been reborn. During wartime, when no one can be trusted, word on the street said the Allies were producing chemical weapons, despite the Geneva Protocol’s ban on their actual use. So, Okunoshima was wiped off the maps, train conductors were required to shade the windows upon passing by, and locals who had known there was a fish processing plant on the island were told nothing of the construction of a poison gas factory.
All of the animals on the island died. The war ended. The government went away. School children released some bunnies on this oasis without predators. The secrecy faded and someone felt there was a lesson to be learned. The Poison Gas Museum was built. The rabbits live happily ever after. They are more fun than a chemical weapons museum. The government opened a hotel to allow visitors to spend more time communing with the wild rabbits, some of whom, while still wild, know a good thing when it walks out of the hotel with a little pail of kibble.
There are a few other holiday-making activities to be had; tennis, swimming, ostensibly golf but I didn’t see the course and if it’s in the same shape as the tennis courts, I wouldn’t bother bringing clubs. The hotel is a little dated, but kept up well. The onsens are worth-while and the dinner and breakfast buffets were really quite good. So, for a beautiful walk, a sweet snuggle, and the curiosity of a place like no other, I highly recommend a night with the bunnies on Usagi Jima, Rabbit Island.