Japan
Ōkuno Shima

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    • Day 35

      Day 34-35

      April 4 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Day 34

      Today we woke up to the sound of the rain pounding and a thunderstorm and high winds warning on our phones so we layered up and headed out into the miserable weather! We spent most of today wandering around the shops and doing some thrifting before visiting Hiroshima prefectureral art museum which had some lovely pieces including a beautiful piece by Salvador Dali- so quite the collection! What I like about Japanese art museums is that within one exhibition you can have huge variety, from paintings to pottery to statues to jewellery it’s nice to have lots of different types of art all in the same exhibitions.
      After wandering around in the pouring rain it got to about 5pm and we decided we would be better served wrapped up in some dry clothes in doors so we bought a pot noodle for dinner and headed back in for a chilled evening and managed to escape the worst of the rain.

      Ps for anyone who saw the news about the awful earthquake in Taiwan and the surrounding tsunami warnings, these are not for mainland Japan where we are and we have disaster notifications on our phones for Japan so we are immediately notified if there are any natural disasters so please don’t worry as I have received a few messages from people wanting to check we are safe which is sweet but we don’t want to worry anyone!

      Day 35

      A rather groggy start to this morning when the alarm blared at 6am. Very unamused we got ready and loaded onto the bus to head towards a far away port and then on a ferry to Ōkunoshima or also known as “rabbit island”! The clue is in the name, there are hundreds of thousands of wild rabbits on this island! The island is inhabited apart from one hotel and accommodation for staff who work at the hotel the rest is well run by the rabbits! The second you step off the ferry they are everywhere and they are pretty friendly too! With no predators on the island they’ve learnt not to fear anything so they come running up to you! Why so many rabbits you ask? Well Okunoshima actually has quite a dark history behind it.

      Japan signed the Geneva protocol which banned the use of chemical warfare. However, between 1929 and 1945 Okunoshima was used as a secret poison gas plant island! Japan had to go to great lengths to keep this hidden from the West as this went against the Geneva protocol. They went to extreme lengths such as removing it from all their maps and it became a national secret of Japan. Unfortunately many of the works forced to work in poor conditions and developed awful side affects and many died during this period so it has a very interesting but dark history. Now you may be wondering how this links to rabbits? Well they tested on rabbits during the development of the poison gas and when the development of the gas was eventually stopped they populated the island! As a result there are ruins of the power plant on the island as well as storage ruins and many derelict buildings with one of the only things standing being the small lighthouse! The island is only 5km in circumference so we walked around the island exploring the ruins whilst also being bombarded by rabbits! It was the most surreal experience for such beauty to have such a dark past. It really is a stunning island, crystal clear waters and untouched nature it is an absolute paradise! So much so that when we reached the main beach there was no one there!! So we went around some rocks and found our own little cove where I went for a very quick and VERY cold swim! I was in and out pretty quickly but it was just too beautiful with the islands in the background to not! We spent a few hours relaxing on the beach and collecting shells before catching the last ferry back and then the long bus back to central Hiroshima.

      It was SO worth the early start and long journey each way it was the most wacky island you can imagine and despite it looking very touristy when you arrive we saw barely anyone and the island is relatively untouched apart from a road looping around the whole island. Definitely the most interesting way to spend our last day in Hiroshima. There really was a mixture of everything- beautiful beaches, interesting history, a dip in the sea, and bunny rabbits! Definitely our most surreal day yet we absolutely LOVED it.
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    • Day 50

      Rabbit Island Okunoshima

      April 19, 2023 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Heute ging es auf die Insel Okunoshima, auch bekannt als Rabbit Island. Die ca. 900 Inselbewohner sind, wie man nun vielleicht vermuten kann, 🐇. Überall kommen sie angehoppelt und sind dabei so putzig, dass man nur langsam voran kommt😅

      Die Insel, die ansonsten einen Lost Place darstellt, barg lange Zeit ein Geheimnis.

      Es gibt zahlreiche Überreste von Fabrik-, Bunker- und Wehranlagen. Die Insel wurde nämlich seit 1925 als mit Geschütztürmen bestückte, geheime Giftgasfabrik genutzt und erst nach Ende des zweiten Weltkriegs zurückgerüstet.

      Zur Tarnung, auch vor der Bevölkerung, baute man auf der Insel eine riesige ''Fischverarbeitungsfabrik'', samt Kraftwerk.

      1938 wurde die Insel zu militärischem Sperrgebiet erklärt, verschwand aus offiziellen Landkarten, Atlanten, Registern und fand auch sonst keine Erwähnung mehr. Züge durften entlang der Küste nur mit verhangenen Fenstern fahren, Schifffahrts- und Fährenrouten änderte man kurzerhand. Wenn es jemandem trotz der Vorsichtsmaßnahmen gelang, einen Blick auf Okunoshima zu erhaschen, konnte er höchstens ein Fabrikgelände erkennen, das offiziell im Zusammenhang mit der Fischkonservenproduktion stand.

      Über die Population der Hasen gibt es unterschiedliche Theorien.
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    • Day 16

      Haseninsel

      September 20, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Damals im und vor dem zweiten Weltkrieg wurden auf dieser Insel giftgas bzw chemische Waffen hergestellt. Als testobjekte mussten die Hasen herhalten, die heute die komplette Insel besiedeln.

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Ōkuno Shima, Okuno Shima, 大久野島

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