Japan is known for a lot of things: the clean air, the fashion scene, the wild game shows, etc. But did you know that Japan is also home to some of the most adorable locations on the planet? When we at Must Do Travels found out that there are entire islands of fluffy animals for people to pet, we couldn’t help but put together this short list of Japan’s cutest islands.
Ōkunoshima, aka “Rabbit Island”
The island of Okunoshima has a broad appeal for travelers. WWII buffs might be interested in touring through the poison gas museum, as this island played a large roll in creating chemical warfare used at that time. If an afternoon learning about it’s dark past becomes too much for you, however, you can enjoy the more adorable aspect of Okunoshima: the large population of feral rabbits that roam the land. These rabbits are all rather tame and are accustomed to interacting and being fed by humans. Why are they here? After World War II, the island was turned into a park, and rabbits were intentionally set loose to do what rabbits do best: create more rabbits for you to enjoy.
Tashirojima, aka “Cat Island”
There is a place in the world where the Internet has manifested itself in physical form: Tashirojima. On this island, people believe that feeding cats will bring you good fortune and luck, and now the cat population outnumbers the human one 6 to 1. There is even a cat shrine you can visit.
Tashirojima has a strict “No Dogs Allowed” policy, but one group that is definitely welcome is Manga enthusiasts, as there are multiple manga-themed lodges that resemble cats on the island due to the fact that the influential manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori planned to move to Tashirojima one day.
Zao Fox Village
Though this is not its own island, at the base of the Miyagi Zao mountains you can find a sanctuary of free-roaming foxes known as the Zao Fox Village where you can pay to feed the foxes, and at designated times even hold the pups! The Zao Fox Village has over 100 foxes of 6 various breeds and colors for tourists to see and there are even some bunnies, miniature horses and goats to pet, as well! Since all of these foxes are cared for by veterinarians and treated for common diseases, it is considered safe for visitors to interact with them, unlike most wild foxes.