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Hiroshima | 5.5h
Enjoy the beautiful old town and Rabbit Island in Takehara
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Let's go to a hidden healing spot away from the city center!


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 to relax and play 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 maintained as a historical preservation 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 listed on maps of the time. It now attracts 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 free-roaming wild rabbits gives it a different feeling from a typical zoo experience, making a visit to the island worthwhile.

The local train and ferry that connect the two areas will be arranged by a 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.

Highlights


・Enjoy feeding rabbits on Okunoshima Island, a popular spot also known as "Rabbit Island".
・ Visit the unusual remains where poison gas was manufactured and stored during the war, and learn about the hidden history of "Rabbit Island".
・ Walk around a district where traditional Japanese buildings still remain intact.

Attractions


・Morikawa Residence: The Morikawa Residence is a grand wooden mansion built in the traditional Japanese architectural style. In addition to the main building, the tatami room, tea ceremony room, and storehouse are still intact, allowing you to appreciate the elaborate technology of the time. You can enjoy many discoveries as you admire every corner of the house.
・Takehara Machinami Preservation District: This is an area where the salt manufacturing industry flourished in the Edo period, and where many well-preserved houses built in a traditional Japanese architectural style stand side by side. Despite the area being designated as a national preservation area, there are still few tourists coming and going, so you can take a leisurely stroll and feel as if you were blending in with the townscape.
・Fumei-kaku: Located on top of a hill, Saihoji Temple is home the Kannon Hall called Fumei-Kaku, which offers a panoramic view of Takehara’s old town. There are no tall buildings around, and the view of the black tiled roofs is a very rare sight in Japan nowadays. The Kannondo was built in the style of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, with a beautiful vermilion stage.
・Fujii Shuzo Sake and Souvenir Store: A 150-year-old sake brewery that has been converted into a store where you can sample sake and buy handmade tableware. The store is made of earth and wood, which gives it the feel of a sake brewery, and it also displays the tools used to make sake back in the day. There is also a restaurant where you can eat soba noodles made with the water used to brew sake.
・Aohata Jam Deck: A stylish spot where you can enjoy exhibits about jam and sweets made with jam. Aohata is a company that makes jam using citrus fruits from the Seto Inland Sea, their products earning them fame throughout Japan. In this location, you’ll be able to learn more about these products, as well as try them.
・Okunoshima Island: This is an island where you can play with hundreds of wild rabbits that live on the island. If you feed them, dozens of rabbits will gather round your feet! The rabbits come in a wide variety of colours, sizes, and personalities, including some that are friendly and others that are picky eaters. On the other side of the coin, the island also has a history of producing poison gas during the war, and the war remains are one of the highlights.
・Kyukamura Okunoshima: Take a break for lunch at the café of the only accommodation on the island. You will find dishes such as Takehara's famous octopus, and rabbit-inspired soft-serve ice cream, all of which are only available on “Rabbit Island”. You can also buy rabbit-themed goods at this spot.
・Okunoshima Poison Gas Storage Remnants: The ruins of a building where poison gas was stored during the war. It is a rare ruin that could have collapsed and disappeared at any time, as it had been left without any protection. Let’s learn about the history behind this “dark legacy”, a place that should never be built again.
・Poison Gas Museum: During the war, Okunoshima was used as a location to produce poison gas, so its existence was erased from maps of the time, so as to conceal its location from other countries. This is a small museum where you can learn about its history. Only by learning about the hidden history of “Rabbit Island” will you be able to truly enjoy this island!
・Power Plant Ruins: A power station built for the production of poison gas, one of the remains of the war. As there are many rabbits now living in this area, you can see the unbalanced scenery of ruins and rabbits. Although the scene is now a symbol of peace, it still reminds us of the history of war, one that we should not forget about.

Notes

・In the event of inclement weather on the day of the tour, the means of transportation, destinations, and routes may be changed.
・The Morikawa Residence is closed on Thursdays.
・Fujii Shuzo Sake and Souvenir Store is closed on Mondays.
・Aohata Jam Deck is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
・Please also note that if any of the other locations are temporarily closed, they may be replaced by other locations.


Safety Measures

Expenses Not Included

The travel expense is not included in the tour fee. Please bring extra money to experience this tour to its fullest.
(Entrance fees, transportation fees, activity fees, etc. - at least about JPY2,500 /person)

Meeting Point

JR Takehara Station ticket gate



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