Tashirojima – Japan’s Cat Island

Japan‘s Tashirojima in the Miyagi prefecture is home to thousands of stray cats. Although, its an absolute haven for cat lovers all around the world, it may be a torture for anyone with cat allergies.

In this cat paradise, the cats are free to roam across the whole island and they are well taken care of by the small community. According to tradition, cats are considered to bring good luck and fortune and this luck doubles, when you feed them.

As of now, no dogs are allowed on the island and the cats are feral, so they aren’t kept as pets. Nevertheless, the island’s inhabitants treasure them and make sure they are fed and taken care of.

However, due to the number of cats outnumbering humans, some people have shunned the island and the overall human population at Tashirojima fell from 1,000 to around 100. The loyal residents still remain to make sure the island is preserved and the cats are taken care of. You can visit the island by ferry to see the cute and cuddly creatures, as they are used to humans and won’t run away if you approach them.

If you do plan to bring some treats for these felines to munch on, you might need to stock up from a nearby convenience store, before you get on that ferry. Be careful when you attempt on feeding them. These cats are used to humans fawning over them, but you might attract a crowd if you open up a can of tuna.

There are a few cat shrines to pay tribute to, which are worth checking out once you visit the island. Can’t get enough of Japan’s adorable felines? Besides the many cat cafes located in major Japanese cities, Tashirojima isn’t the only island full of cats. You may want to opt for a visit to Aoshima in the Ehime Prefecture. It has about 150 cat residents and only a dozen human inhabitants on the island. Don’t forget to pick up as much kawaii kitty souvenirs during your trip, along with dozens of photos of these cute, cuddly Japanese cats.

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