Okunoshima, aka Bunny Island

September 17, 2015

Okunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cute
Okunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cute

Okunoshima, a tiny island home to thousands of bunnies, was one of my highlights of Japan despite the fact it was an absolute schlep to get to. I’ve always loved rabbits for being adorable, but their behaviour is defined by being prey animals. They spend all of their waking hours analysing where their next predator is, essentially living in a constant state of stress. Rabbits have been known to become paralysed and even die from panic at the sound of an approaching predator. On top of that, they’re highly susceptible to diseases, have low intelligence, can’t vomit and have terrible defence mechanisms so the poor things often have a tough time in the wild.

Enter the bunnies at Okunoshima! The island is populated by rabbits ONLY, which means these animals are psychologically different to other rabbits. There are no native diseases, no other species to share resources with, and without predators, they aren’t even prey. I’m no animal behaviour specialist but this basically means they’re like the lions of their own little jungle. The Okunoshima rabbits are very outgoing animals with dusty fur, muddy, leathery feet and (in the elders), a bit of ear missing or a blinded eye. Pirate rabbits! The babies were the only ones with super-soft fur.

The island itself was a poison gas military base during WWII and has quite a bleak history. It’s far from a tourist spot, with few signs and maps and certainly no guides or gift shops. It was kind of creepy wandering around between old ruins with blown out windows and through deserted look-out spots… or at least, creepy until you rustle your food bag and twenty eager bunnies appear. I’m not sure I would describe them as “tame” because they’re still wild, and not submissive or trained. But they’re hugely confident, and will do anything to get food; they reminded me (behaviour-wise) of the seagulls in Brighton or the monkeys in Kenya who will chance anything to get a bite of your snack. Although I’ll take an adventurous rabbit over a bolshie seagull any day!

Okunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cute*I neglected to post about this back in April![youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZW1b_QEOkU]

20 comments so far.

20 responses to “Okunoshima, aka Bunny Island”

  1. Denise says:

    What for a beautiful post, dear Laila! I love rabbits, so nice that you went to the island and showed us these cute photos! I didn’t know that rabbits are paralysed or even could die from panic because of a predator! That would be me, then 🙂 I am known – and fear that – that when in risky or dangerous situations I get paralysed. Not good for me, also not good for the sweet rabbits! Hope you have a very nice weekend!
    DenisesPlanet.com

  2. ramexa says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Japan!!! Lucky you! These pictures are just cuteness overload!!!! 😀

  3. Kati says:

    Oh my God, these are so absolutely adorable! Thanks for all the cuteness!

    Have a great day,
    -Kati

  4. christina says:

    are you wearing bunny shoes too? I never knew such a place existed… cute

  5. This is adorable! I love bunnies too. I could just take them all home!!! What a sanctuary, no predators. I love your posts.

  6. Marneymae says:

    I love rabbits!!
    This was such a delight to read & watch the video!
    Thank you for posting

  7. permanentprocrastination says:

    OMG! How amazing and cute!! I’m so jealous!
    Tegan xx – Permanent Procrastination

  8. anne-marie says:

    I am a French woman, I like rabbits in mustard sauce 😀

  9. christinadrh says:

    Amazing place! Love your video and the music is perfect. I am glad to know that place exists, thanks.

  10. I don’t think this post could get any cuter!x

  11. Elizabeth says:

    These photographs are so adorable! x
    fashionismyfirstlanguage.blogspot.ie

  12. Anna says:

    Bunny island=dream come true!! Definitely on my future bucket list how cool!!
    Anna | Taupe Cassette

  13. Stine Friis says:

    Oh wow! What an amazing place! I want to just live there, spending my life petting rabbits<3
    http://www.stinefriis.com

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