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Today's blog post takes us to what was for [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m undoubtedly the highlight of our time in Japan: the small island of Okunoshima in the Inland Sea, home to over eight hundred rabbits, all wild but sufficiently accustomed to visiting rabbit fans that they might as well be tame.

We discovered the existence of this island years ago, and used to joke about going there to visit. Given my aversion to long-haul flights on environmental grounds, I don't think I ever expected that I would actually ever make it there... but I was always prepared to make a once-a-decade or less exception to this rule for special occasions, and you don't get much more special than your honeymoon.

The start of all things rabbity starts considerably before you reach the island; the sign showing which train line to take to get to the station on the mainland from which one reaches the ferry to the island already features no fewer than thirteen rabbits:

[IMG 1393]

...and at the ticket office:

[IMG 1529]

Jane gets the opportunity to make lots of new friends on the island:

[IMG 1399]

Bar-Navi the mishugga-frum rabbit tries making converts, but finds it more difficult:

[IMG 1396]

And of course [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m is in paradise:

[IMG 1401]

So are the rabbits, when they see that she has food:

[IMG 1412]

[IMG 1424]

There was a shop on the mainland selling pellets to feed to the rabbits, but at least one person had decided to spoil them with carrot:

[IMG 1437]

[IMG 1452]

[IMG 1453]

[IMG 1455]

[livejournal.com profile] aviva_m even persuaded me to have a go at feeding the rabbits:

[IMG 1458]

I turned out to be quite popular with them (the food might have had something to do with it...):

[IMG 1461]

[IMG 1463]

Nobody knows quite how the rabbits got onto the island, though some people think their ancestors were used for experimentation at the poison gas factory that operated on the island during the first half of the twentieth century. There is now a museum about the factory and the health toll it took on its workers, not to mention the horrors of poison gas usage in war.

As we climbed the island's central hill, our rabbity visitors became fewer but never dropped out altogether; here was one of the two rabbits we encountered at the summit:

[IMG 1483]

A view from the summit towards Shinkoku:

[IMG 1470]

Clapped out at the end of a long day:

[IMG 1455]

As we left, I asked [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m if the day had been as good as she had hoped for; she replied, "It was better!"

Now if only someone would seed an island with rabbits somewhere closer to home, in Europe, [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m would be in seventh heaven.

[Japan blog posts] [personal profile] lethargic_man's Japan blog posts

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Lethargic Man (anag.)

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