You\u2019ve seen the YouTube vids and the Insta pics. Now it\u2019s your turn to be covered in adorable wild bunnies. So how do you actually get to Okunoshima, the \u201cRabbit Island\u201d? And what can you do once you\u2019re there? Japan\u2019s Rabbit Island There are two competing theories on how Okunoshima became a rabbit mecca. The first is that a few pet rabbits were released by children when the islands were evacuated in the 1940s. The second is that the rabbits are escaped test subjects from the island\u2019s former toxic gas production labs (more on that later). Either way, rabbits were let loose on the island. With few natural predators and abundant resources, the rabbits did what rabbits do and multiplied. By most estimates, there are well over 1,000 living on the island today. A dark past Okunoshima wasn\u2019t always a paradise for bunnies. In the early 20th century, neck deep in wars with China (and later the Allied Powers), the Japanese government ordered a secret poison gas factory be built on the island. Naturally, there\u2019s been a lot of secrecy around the sites, with many reports stating that the gas produced here was never used in warfare. In reality, there\u2019s every chance it was used in China, which was exposed to a wide range of chemical weapons by the Imperial Japanese Army. The only people we can say with certainty were affected are the factory workers, many of whom were children by today\u2019s standards. With little in the way of training or safety regulation, and poor equipment, many of the island\u2019s residents were left with life-changing injuries long after the island was evacuated. The facilities were built to last. The ruins are still all over the island to this day, in stark contrast to the island\u2019s otherwise idyllic surroundings. What to do on Rabbit Island While there\u2019s not much in the way of infrastructure, there\u2019s plenty to see and do on Rabbit Island. Food isn\u2019t really available outside of the hotel, so be sure to bring enough to last you the day. Play with the buns While you can\u2019t play with them exactly, the rabbits are relatively unfazed by humans. That means they\u2019re happy enough to eat directly from your hands. Be sure to get their food before you reach the island, as we didn\u2019t see any after we arrived. Rabbit food is available from the gift shop in Tadanoumi\u2014or more cheaply in the little shack next door. Alternatively, plenty of folks bring more photo-friendly fresh veggies, many of which are good eatin\u2019 for rabbits. Please don\u2019t feed the rabbits human food. Explore the island The island itself is every bit as cool as the critters that occupy it. It\u2019s well worth visiting a few of the island\u2019s many ruins, abandoned buildings and island vistas. At a steady pace two hours should be enough to circle the whole island. That\u2019ll be much longer if like me, you stop every time you see a cute rabbit. You can rent bicycles from the hotel at a pop. Just be sure to keep an eye out for bolting bunnies in your path. Sightseeing highlights include several old batteries (of the military kind), gas storehouses, a power plant, and an observatory. Hit the beach The island is surrounded by surprisingly beautiful (and often deserted) beaches. If you\u2019re the sun, sea and sand type, there\u2019s no reason not to set up shop and leave the rabbits in peace for a while. Take a dip If you\u2019re looking to wind down after all that excitement, the island\u2019s only hotel has an onsen (natural hot spring bath). If you\u2019re not staying the night, admission costs a very reasonable . Be sure to check our guide to onsen etiquette before you dive in. Bath hours: 11 am\u20136 pm Poison Gas Museum The Poison Gas Museum was built in 1988 to draw attention to the horrors of war, made especially poignant by the Island\u2019s own involvement in the manufacture of chemical weapons. It\u2019s a small museum, but it\u2019s well worth the admission cost of just . Much of the information is translated into English, and 30 minutes should be more than enough to see everything. Naturally, such atrocities are going to put a downer on an otherwise adorable day\u2014so consider giving this a miss if you\u2019re with young kids. Open daily 9 am to 4:30 pm (last entry 4 pm). May vary on holidays Staying on Rabbit Island Unlike the locals, you won\u2019t need to dig your own warren to stop overnight. Kyukamura Ohkunoshima The island\u2019s only hotel offers relative luxury to those looking to stay the night (apparently guests once stayed in the abandoned military buildings). If you\u2019re looking for budget accommodation you\u2019re better off sticking to the mainland. But if you\u2019re dead set on getting sunrise or sunset snaps on the island, staying the night is your only choice. Spending the night among the stars The hotel also maintains a decent-sized campsite. It\u2019s perfect for stargazing, as there\u2019s apparently very little ambient light. There are two plans available, both much cheaper than a hotel stay. The first allows you to bring your own equipment, and costs for the site and per person in \u201cadministration fees\u201d. The second option is the \u201cempty hands\u201d plan, which allows you to rent a tent and sleeping gear, all set up by staff. Based on two people sharing a tent, prices start around [[rice amount=10,000], which includes dinner, breakfast and onsen access. According to their Japanese website, this option is \u201cgood for those who are new to camping and women\u201d. Casual sexism aside, it\u2019s a great option if you\u2019re not planning to lug around a tent and sleeping bags for your whole trip. Just renting a tent costs . Getting there and getting around The island was chosen as a secret military installation for good reason\u2013it\u2019s not especially easy to get to. So while the island is popular, it\u2019s not as crowded as you might expect for such a well-known destination, especially on weekdays. That said, it\u2019s well worth the trip if you\u2019re in the area! Getting to Okunoshima from the mainland The easiest way to reach the island is by taking the ferry from Tadanoumi, which means getting the train to the pier first. As the nearest big city, there\u2019s a good chance you\u2019ll be coming from Hiroshima, which takes around 2 hours. be sure to check out our Hiroshima guide while you're at it for advice on where to go and what to do. A reliable route (especially if you have a JR Pass) is to get a JR San-yo line train to Mihara. From there, take JR Kure line bound for Tadanoumi. Taking the ferry Once you\u2019ve reached Tadanoumi, you can pick up ferry tickets at the visitors\u2019 centre by the pier. While you\u2019re there, you can drop off any luggage for the day for . The ferry trip is just 15 minutes long, and one departs every hour or so, depending on the time and day. Check the official timetable for full details. The first departure from Tadanoumi is usually around 7 am, while the last boat back leaves around 7 pm.