Welcome to Aoshima, the once thriving fishing island with a population of 900 people in Ehime Prefecture. Now this area is better known under the name of Cat Island or Cat Island. The ratio of the local population to the cats living here is 1:10. That is, there are many more cats than the inhabitants of the island themselves.
Initially, cats were brought to fight rodents, which all the time spoiled fishing gear and did not give the fishermen a rest. Now, cats are the full owners of the island.
Aoshima is not the only Japanese island inhabited by cats and cats, but it is most popular among tourists. However, the local authorities still considered that there were too many cats divorced, so in 2018 it was decided to completely sterilize the cats. At the moment, there are 120-130 individuals.
But since you have already decided to visit this landmark in Japan, it is worth remembering that this is a former fishing village, and the island itself is rather small, so there are no hotels or restaurants and even shops. Therefore, think ahead of time than planning to treat the tailed and purchase food in advance. Take also a trash bag to keep the island clean.
There are literally 15 people left, the rest of the inhabitants left during the Second World War, or only later because of a lack of work. There are no natural enemies of cats on the island or unnatural ones such as cars, they are simply absent here. Cats feel at ease here and climb into abandoned people at home.
You can get to the island on a ship that runs twice a day from the nearest port. But because of the advertising in the media, the tourists began to massively go to the island, the tickets for the ship can be sold 3 hours before departure.
Some tourists pay fishermen to ferry them in their boats, but this is considered illegal. It is also not recommended to visit this island in the autumn-winter period, as due to strong tides, the flight on the ship may be canceled.
But if you are an avid cat owner and do not stop you, it is better to rent a hotel a few days closer to the port in case of a flight cancellation. The closest place to Nagahama harbor, where you can stay overnight is a mini-hotel called Ryoutei. Unfortunately, the information on the website of the hotel is only in Japanese.
According to Japanese sites, local residents are asked to follow certain rules when visiting Cat Island. Among other things, they ask not to linger on the dock where the ships arrive and not to feed the cats there – this makes it difficult for the rest to go and enter the ship. Just sailed to the dock immediately go further to the island, there are special places for feeding cats.
Do not enter the territory of private houses without permission – their owners may not like it.
And do not overfeed cats, there are no vets here, and if they become ill, then there is no one to help. If you still have food, then there are special containers for this, where you can leave it, then cats will be fed with it.
Pay attention also to the special boxes for donations in the waiting room at the ship station. All the money, as promised by the local, will be used for cats of the island. Anyone who loves animals, and especially cats and cats, is advised to visit Japan with its dozens of islands, inhabited by cats, rabbits, or, if you like, you can also come to the village with foxes. All you need is a camera and plenty of animal feed.