Japan’s Top 3 Cat Islands
It could be excellent for you to be around cats if you’re a cat lover. However, would you believe that there are certain Japanese islands with a higher cat population than the human population? Cat and kitten faces are the cutest thing ever. Japan is renowned for its cuteness.
Ehime Prefecture’s Aoshima
Perhaps the most well-known cat island in Japan is Aoshima. Because more than 120 cats are living on the island instead of the 15-20 people who call it home, the nickname “Cat Island” is not hyperbole!
The island of Aoshima is 1.6 km long and is situated in southern Japan’s Ehime Prefecture. The fishermen had a rodent issue at the time cats were first introduced aboard ships. However, the cats continued to live on the island and procreated, which caused the population to grow practically uncontrollably.
However, Aoshima Island is not a well-liked vacation spot. On the island, there are no cars, hotels, cafés, or even vending machines. The residents are primarily old. Tourists who wish to go near to the cats won’t be turned away, but if you visit the island, be careful not to bother the locals and refrain from feeding the cats because they are already being fed by the locals every day.
Given that there are only two ferry trips to the island each day, it is not a location with easy transportation access. It would be worthwhile to try and visit individuals who are ardent cat lovers.
It is advised that you depart from Matsuyama, the administrative center of the Ehime Prefecture:
You can visit Aoshima on a boat after buying tickets for boats from Aoshima Boarding Area located near to Iyo-Nagahama Station.
Tashiro-Jima Island, Miyagi Prefecture
Another well-known cat land in Japan is Tashirojima, also known as Tashiro-Jima. It is a little island located near Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, off the coast of Japan.
There are over 100 cats on the island, even though there are only about 100 humans living there. The introduction of cats assisted this output since the cats kept the mouse number to a minimum. The island once raised silkworms for their silk, which attracted mice by nature.
The locals who have been fishing for years also have the view that feeding cats would bring them prosperity and fortune. Cats are well-cared for by the majority of locals, who have even adopted them as a type of island emblem. This makes the island essentially a “cat island,” as pet dogs are not permitted there.
Between two settlements on the island’s center is a cat shrine named Neko-jinja that honors cats that perished from falling rocks. The people and tourists to the island seem to care about the cats.
Take the Ajishimaline (40-minute) cruise from Ishinomaki Harbour to Tashirojima, Miyagi, and get off at Nitoda Port.
Manabeshima, Okayama Prefecture
Manabeshima is a significantly smaller island in the Okayama Prefecture’s Kasaoka City compared to Aoshima Island and Tashiro-Jima Island. Manabeshima is located around 19 miles off the coast of Honshu and is accessible from Kasaoka Station in about 2 and a half hours. To reach the island, a train and a boat are needed.
Formerly a little island with less than 300 residents, it gained some notoriety when a well-known French author included the island in a novel. However, Manabeshima or Manabe Island is still more recognized as an island home to cats. The cats live a very calm life on a quiet, residential island. Everywhere visitors walk, cats will meet them; in addition, there could be more cats than people! Although the majority of the cats are amiable, each one has a unique character, so proceed with caution when approaching them.
JR Sanyo Main Line Kasaoka station is the station closest to Kasaoka Port.
Also read about: Maneki-Neko: Interesting History Of The Japanese Lucky Cat