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Japan’s Bunny Island
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/8000 sec, f/1.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Feeding The Bunnies
“Bunny Island”, Okunoshima Japan
30 miles east of Hiroshima

As I mentioned the other day, we paid a visit to 大久野島 (Okunoshima), also known as “Bunny Island” because it's populated by “wild” rabbits that have no hesitation to appear in great numbers at the slightest suggestion of food.


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Bunny Whiskers

You can get a cup of bunny-food pellets for 100 yen (US$1.25), and even borrow gloves if you want (though they're not really needed). You can also rent bicycles and enjoy rides on paths all around. The island is small — a bit more than half a square mile — but mountainous, and bunnies are pretty much everywhere, though less in the higher grounds. There's not much else on the island but the ruins of the chemical-weapons factories that occupied the island in the 15 years up through the end of WWII, and a modern visitor center and hotel.


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/1000 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Special Treat
someone had came by and threw bunches of old lettuce

The English Wikipedia page on the island claims that the rabbits were released from the chemical-weapons factory on the island after it was shut down by the Americans after WWII, which is a good story and all, but the Japanese page says that the rabbits descend from a group released by some elementary-school kids in 1971. A form of the old programmer's adage probably applies here: when the comments and code disagree, both are probably wrong. Who knows.


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Power-Plant Shell
Abandoned 1945

iPhone 4S @ 4mm — 1/670 sec, f/2.4, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
“Say, Is That Thing Edible?”
(taken with my phone)

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
“Whaddya Lookin At?”

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bunny Ears
Backlit by the late-afternoon sun

Speaking of “bunny ears”, they had these mounted horn things that you could put your ears up to and, in theory, hear stuff much better....


iPhone 4S @ 4mm — 1/1400 sec, f/2.4, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
Bunny Ears
photo by Fumie Matsunaka Friedl

We couldn't really get them to work well, perhaps because they were hard to turn and to get seated to your ears. I've seen this kind of thing at playgrounds before, though not with such an odd shape. It wasn't until the next day that it actually clicked with me that they were meant to be bunny ears. Doh! I can be slow.

Then again, it was a long day. Anthony was running around on his rented bicycle, so I took a moment to relax, but the bunnies never for a moment let their guard down, lest I suddenly whip out a head of lettuce....


iPhone 4S @ 4mm — 1/750 sec, f/2.4, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
Being Observed
photo by Fumie Matsunaka Friedl

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Feeding Frenzy

Near the main hotel area where tourist visits generally start and end, the rabbits are so plentiful and so quick to arrive when food is presented that to an adult it's past the point of “cute” into “pest”, but it's sheer joy to a kid.


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Crinkling of the Food Bag
bunnies immediately materialize out of thin air

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
2.57 Seconds Later
really, less than three seconds after the prior photo

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Overrun

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 82mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Escape!
among a tsunami of giggles

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 175mm — 1/500 sec, f/14, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Sunset with the Bunnies

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Lounging
Living the easy life of a people rancher

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Squiggly Ears

We eventually made our way to the ferry dock on the other (non-sunset) side of the island for the trip back to the mainland. While waiting, Anthony availed himself of the breakwall...


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Passing The Time

iPhone 4S @ 4mm — 1/30 sec, f/2.4, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
Leaving Bunny Island
photo by Fumie Matsunaka Friedl

Continued here...


Comments so far....

Great shots! I love Anthony’s smile in the first one.

In ““Say, Is That Thing Edible?”, the perspective is interesting. Either that, or the brown rabbit in the background is actually a large wombat with long ears.

— comment by Marcina (USA) on October 31st, 2011 at 7:56am JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Oh My!
you weren’t kidding about the bunny pest were you. Loved the photos but am really surprised that there are so many and that the powers that be have not exterminated them…are they going to be allowed to populate the place indefinitely?
Annie
PS Typo on “Leaving Bunny Island” title.

The bunnies are sort of the main tourist point of the island (that and the museum for its wartime past). The island is small, self-contained, and uninhabited, so it seems to be a win-win situation…. bunnies get treated like kings, kids get to play freely with “wild” bunnies. (Fixed the typo, thanks.) —Jeffrey

— comment by Annie in London on October 31st, 2011 at 9:19pm JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

“Power-Plant Shell” reminded me of the first episode of Guilty Crown anime. That in turn reminds me to catch up with rest of latest episodes.

— comment by parv on November 1st, 2011 at 12:46pm JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I made “Squiggly Ears” my desktop wallpaper. I love it so much! :) Thank you!

— comment by Maggie on November 5th, 2011 at 6:03am JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I found this post while searching for pictures of cute bunnies. I was not disappointed! All of them look so cute and cuddly, and even though I’m technically an adult, I’d still love to just pet those bunnies all day. You’re so lucky.

— comment by Azure Lazuline on November 7th, 2011 at 6:25am JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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