We must applaud animals for all they do to enrich our lives, lift our spirits and even increase our exercise. So many of us can count bird songs and butterfly dances as soothing delights to our senses. Of course, we love our furry friends at home and consider them family. Rabbit Island is where unsung furry heroes snag the spotlight, warm hearts and draw fans across the world.
The cutest place in the world is a mystery
Usagi Jima is the nickname for Ōkunoshima, a small island of the Inland Sea of Japan. The nickname translates to “Rabbit Island.” The Japanese government actually wiped it off the map after a history of chemical testing facilities around 100 years ago.
However, rabbits saved the day and gave Ōkunoshima a very happy ending. No one knows exactly how a large rabbit population first started there, or how it grew magically to estimates of nearly 1,000 of the animals today. Lucky for us, thumpers are responsible for the island’s mysterious turnaround from a secret blight to the world’s largest open petting zoo.
The most common way rabbit enthusiasts get there is travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima, where a short ferry ride leads to the fluffy paradise.
The friendliest rabbits on the planet wait for crowds
By 2014, the island switched from a desolate spot where nearby seniors traveled to enjoy the hot springs, to the place for bunny fans around the world. Interest in the island rose higher when popular viral videos and social media posts showed surprised, thrilled people surrounded by harmless rabbits who welcomed them.
Luck may be the only reason these wild, or “feral,” bunnies are not afraid of humans as other undomesticated animals are. Rabbit Island’s bunnies relish in being pet and they’re known to chase shy admirers. The crowds of tourists who come ready to feed these cuties certainly reward them for friendliness with people.
Rabbit Island brings fairy tales to life
Rabbits are among the first animals babies and young children learn to recognize. They appear, in all colors of the rainbow, to decorate baby clothes and blankets. They have starring roles in thrilling picture books and cartoons as famous characters.
We see them as nonthreatening, soft and comforting creatures all our lives. Most of us have a stuffed bunny (or two) tucked away in a keepsake box or bedroom. Those fortunate enough to spend time on Rabbit Island get transported back to childhood innocence.
A clean, pure oasis
Peace, quiet and fresh air really slow us down for the better. Rabbit Island is virtually unspoiled by cars, traffic and human costs of living. All its precious warrens and deep rabbit holes leap out of stories and picture books into real life.
While an abandoned chemical plant remains, most of the island is a natural environment. Some Japanese locals travel there to swim. Visitors truly experience a serene escape.
Rabbits have strong family values
It’s easy to feel warm, fuzzy feelings when a cute parade of cottontails and their babies run by. Rabbits’ strong family values earned their storied place as well-loved characters to build adventurous tales around. The babies are born hairless and blind, so mothers need to give a lot of care before the little ones can go off on their own.
This rich start builds rabbits’ highly social natures and a lifelong desire for community. The sight of their tight herds makes visitors leave with more appreciation for their own families.
Rabbits are good luck
Everyone craves good luck. Rabbits are great symbols of it. Rest assured: Most rabbit foot good luck charms are synthetic.
Besides, who needs a lucky charm? Legend has it that simply repeating “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit…” is enough to bestow good luck for a whole month. People’s fortunes must drastically change after strong doses of bunny love on Rabbit Island.
It’s fun to feed cute things- responsibly
Children can learn compassion and care when they see adults take time to feed hungry animals. However, Rabbit Island is a cautionary tale for us to respect animals’ special diets.
Childhood fantasies of carrot and cabbage-eating rabbits led to a dangerously erratic feeding system for the island’s star attractions. To keep the little bunnies from having stomach upsets and serious illnesses, vet-approved rabbit food is sold on-island and on the way.
Rabbit Island is a nice lesson for all of us to slow down, breathe and appreciate the small things in life. The cutest place in the world shows fairy tales are based in truth. We are meant to coexist peacefully with nature and animals, and create stories of love and surprise together.