Hiroshima Jam-packed visit to Takehara City! A private tour to a beautiful old town and “Rabbit Island”

Last updated: 30 March, 2021

Let's go to a hidden healing spot away from the city centre! A local journey by coastal train, and ferry.

Takehara City is home to the "Little Kyoto of Aki," a district with preserved streets dating back to the Edo period, and Okunoshima Island, which has recently been gaining popularity among tourists as “Rabbit Island”. On this tour, you will be able to enjoy both areas with our private guide, who will explain the historical background of each area and help you with the logistics. Experience a different kind of travelling, featuring the chance of relaxing and playing with rabbits on a quaint island.

Your first stop on the tour is Takehara, a city which flourished in the Edo period (1603-1868) as a salt manufacturing town, followed by sake production later on. An area where Japanese houses stood in those days is still preserved as a conservation area. It is an off-the-beaten-path spot that has yet to be discovered by the tourist crowds, so you can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the town as if you were back in the Edo period.

Next on the tour, Okunoshima is an uninhabited island where poison gas was made during the war and was not mentioned on maps of the time. It is now attracting attention from both inside and outside Japan as an island where you can play with hundreds of wild rabbits. The mismatched scenery of the remains of the poison gas manufacturing locations and the freely roaming wild rabbits gives it a different feeling from a typical zoo experience, making a visit to the island worth it.

The local train and ferry that connect the two areas will be arranged by our private guide, so you can relax and comfortably enjoy the scenery on the way. Our tour allows you to enjoy the history and nature of the Japanese countryside, where time flows at a leisurely pace.

Enjoy feeding rabbits on Okunoshima Island, a popular spot also known as “Rabbit Island”.

Okunoshima, an uninhabited island in Takehara City, Hiroshima Prefecture, is home to hundreds of wild rabbits. You can freely play with the wild rabbits on the island, and when you feed them, dozens more will come to you! There are also a wide variety of rabbit-themed sweets and souvenirs to help you relax and have a good time on the island.

Visit the unusual remains where poison gas was manufactured and stored during the war, and learn about the hidden history of "Rabbit Island".

Although Okunoshima is now a peaceful place where you can play with rabbits, it was once a military facility where the Japanese army secretly manufactured poison gas. As you walk around the island, you can see the remains of the poison gas storage facility, the raw material storage area, and the cannon tower, all which remain intact. During the tour, you will visit this "dark legacy” of a place that should never be built again, and our guide will explain the history in an easy-to-understand manner.

Walk around a district where traditional Japanese buildings still remain intact.

The "Takehara Machinami Preservation District," lined with splendid traditional Japanese houses, flourished in the Edo period due to the town’s salt manufacturing industry. This is a true off-the-beaten-path, and it is a great place to take a leisurely stroll. As you walk along the streets, be sure to notice unique lattices on the buildings; the decoration of these elaborate "Takehara lattices" differs from house to house, giving you a sense of the refined ingenuity of the time.