Japan’s Cat Island A Unique Place To Visit
If wondering and still indecisive where to go next then we have picked the right spot for you. There is an island in Japan, Aoshima, Tashirojima and it is known as the ‘cat island’.
Why This Name
It is no accident that this island got famous as the cat island, there actually are cats everywhere here. The felines have outnumbered humans six to1 and rule like queens. Cats can be seen curled up and strutting in the streets and inside the abandoned houses, schools, and literally every building.
Locals of this stranded island believed that these fur balls bring fortune and good luck and thus they received the royal treatment since the beginning. Almost all of these cats are feral because apparently, it is inappropriate to keep queens as pets. These munchkins are still well-fed and well-cared for.
How To Get There
Now, here comes the most fun and unique part of this trip and that is the way you get here. The nearest main city to Tashirojima is Sendai. This city is easily accessible from Tokyo and for that matter from the rest of Japan too. However, from Sendai, you got to take the 6:22 am express and why this early? You’ll know in a while. Take a local train to the Ishinomaki and from Ishinomaki enjoy a ferry ride to the Tashirojima’sNitoda port.
The Adventure Begins
Hold your heart because when the train drops you at Ishinomaki, you’ll witness the devastation brought upon this city by the 2011 Tsunami. If as recommended you caught the 6:22 am express you’ll arrive at this Tsunami-hit city around 7:30 am. Now the real reason we advised getting here early is the first ferry to the cat island leaves around nine, and the port is quite a distance from the station. It is a good 30 to 40 minutes of walking or else you can get a taxi.
Remember if you want to feed the cats then you should get the cat food before reaching. It is not difficult to buy cat food, and there are even several voucher codes 2019 which offer deductions, but once, at the cat land, there are almost no shops.
Although the cats were supposed to bring fortune ironically, it never happened to the island where they rule. The town that was once a bustling fishing place now present a gloomy picture of abandoned homes and bygone residents. In the past 50 years, human population decreased to less than 100 from1000.
Majority of the people migrated in search of better opportunities and the only thriving thing on the island now is feline population. Very few people who are left are mostly elderly, and they have become immensely protective of their fellow animal community.
A No Dog Land
Maybe cats are bringing fortune back, but it is not steady and certainly not much. The island is becoming a tourist spot only because of the numerous fur balls roaming freely. For now, there is not much to accommodate the cat lovers who visit.
There is no point mentioning that no dog is allowed on the island (as if any dog would want to set foot on an island full of feral cats). The island also has a small cat shrine at the center named ‘Neko-jinja’. An accidentally killed cat is commemorated in this shrine.
A Unique Tourist Destination
The sight of human activity at this piece of land at the middle of the sea is daytime when ferries of curious trippers come to the shores and drop their passengers. There are literally no kiosks selling food, no shops, no cars, and absolutely no restaurants this place offers a very different kind of a trip.
For some people, the lure of seeing so many happy and well-fed cats living the free life is enough. People from all around the country pay visits to this once forgotten island, and now, the popularity is not constrained to Japan only. Many animal lovers from all around the globe want to experience this surreal cat land. The place is not surprising since it is in Japan who gave the world the Hello Kitty.
What You Can Do For Them
These tabbies survive on the food provided to them by the tourists which include rice balls, potatoes, energy bars, and cat food. You can feed them wherever you want to, but there is a designated place also. They know the timings when a town nurse would come to feed them and gather around.
Before leaving for Japan search some internet and order some cheap cat toys which you can get using voucher codes 2019 to take with you. You may have a great time and change your trip into a play date with mousers.
Only two ferries return from the island to the city one at 10:45 and other at 14:00. You got to get on one of them unless you want to spend a night at this mysterious land. And if you are willing to spend a night, then you ought to book a cat-shaped cabin offering camping. Do it first thing at your arrival because there is a very limited number of cabins available.