Once home to a large scale poison gas production facility, Okunoshima Island is now considered a ‘rabbit paradise’. The Japanese island produced gas for the Imperial Army from 1929 till 1945, but was “erased” from the map of Japan for obvious reasons.
The first rabbit was beleived to call the island its home when a school teacher abandoned a couple of rabbits no longer welcome at school. And of course, with rabbits being rabbits, the population quickly grew.
The island is receiving more (human) visitors than ever thanks to next year’s zodiac animal, which is of course the rabbit. Photos of the rabbits are being used for greeting cards, personal blog posts and a fake residency certificate. A local hotel even used the rabbits for a New Year’s card design contest.
The island is about 60 miles from Hiroshima in the Seto inland sea. A ferry carries visitors from nearby Takehara.
[Photo from Flickr/Rankun76]