Can you think of the happiest you’ve ever been in your life? Maybe there are a lot of different experiences that come to mind. Mine was a couple of weeks ago on Bunny Island. My life is basically downhill from here, haha.
I should probably start by admitting that I don’t really go outside. I’m not outdoorsy. I don’t spend my weekend mornings hiking. I don’t camp. It’s just not really my thing. So, it is possible that part of the euphoric experience of Okunoshima for me was just being in nature.
The island of Okunoshima itself is gorgeous! Unlike the islands near San Francisco, it wasn’t rocky and super steep. It was relatively flat which made for easy bunny access and a remarkable view of the sunset from the island.
Even just the traveling to the island on the train was beautiful. I loved everything about my visit, and I’m counting the days until I can go back! Next time I’ll stay longer than only one night. I brought a lot of snack to eat on the long train ride including these heart-shaped chips that we picked up in Harajuku.
After taking a whole bunch of train rides, you arrive at a port where you wait for the ferry. In case you’re unsure of where to wait, there’s a helpful sign.
The ferry ride to the island makes you feel like you’re in a scene from Jurassic Park.
The hotel was a traditional Japanese hotel, so at 6pm or so, they come around to your room and lay out your sleeping pads on the japanese mat floors. There’s a toilet and a sink in your room, but the showers are in the public onsen, so if you go, I hope you don’t have an issue with being next to naked people…while you’re naked…and if you’re me, you might have to watch other people shower so that you can learn what to do because you’ve never been in an onsen before. And that’s not awkward at all!
Don’t worry, I waited until I was alone before taking these pictures of the onsen. Just because I stare at people while they shower doesn’t mean I don’t know where the line is drawn and when not to cross it (except for those times when I just touch my toe across the line, but that doesn’t count, right?)
The hotel comes with an all-you-can-eat buffet for dinner and breakfast. I just assumed there would be nothing I could eat, so I packed a lot of snacks for the trip. However, to my surprise, the staff were really helpful (and the other tourists too!), so I was able to find quite a lot of vegan food to eat there! I still recommend bringing snacks though, because the hotel doesn’t provide lunch, and the trip to and from the island is a long journey in itself. Here’s a picture of some of the food that was vegan on the breakfast buffet.
There was also cold tofu, seaweed salad, and other things that I didn’t care for.
In addition to bringing snacks for you, you may want to bring snacks for the bunnies. This is a decision each vegan must make for his/herself. The island doesn’t sell food for the purpose of not wanting the bunnies to become reliant on being fed. There are plenty of plants on the island that they can eat, so I think the ideal situation is to let them eat what they are meant to eat. However, I was gifted a bag of grass pellets from a japanese girl, and I fed the bunnies every last pellet. It made them come to me and sit on my lap, and made me the happiest I’ve ever been in life, so when I go back, I will be feeding them. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad vegan.
I created a youtube channel specifically for videos of Bunny Island, so if you’d like to see bunnies hopping around in their natural habitat, check them out. Oh, and youtube won’t let me change my URL for my channel until I have 100 followers, so please subscribe to my channel while you’re there.
And if you don’t like videos of bunnies (that’s obviously impossible), here are some pictures of the bunnies.
There are more remote areas of the island where you can go that have fewer bunnies, but the ones you do find seem to be a little different.
They chill more, and they don’t run up to you when they see you.
I caught this one giving herself a little bath.
So, there’s one downside to bunny island. The bunnies are hunted by crows, so some of them have wounds on their ears and faces from the crow attacks. I had the chance to save a baby bunny from being taken by a crow, but then it made me sad to think about what will happen now that I’m not there to save all the bunnies. This one on the left has a missing eye and chunks taken out of his ears.
If you look in the sky of this picture, you can see the crow flying. When the crows make a noise, the bunnies all run into the woods to hide.
Some naughty bunny figured out where the food was coming from and decided to cut out the middleman (me).
If you’ve ever wondered if bunnies do yoga, here’s your answer.
This one looks like she’s smiling.
And I saved the best for last….the baby bunny!