The Cat Islands in Japan have become an absolute tourist attraction that tourists visiting this beautiful country should not miss!
The cats on these islands live in absolute symbiosis with humans. They called them “Nekojima” or “Cat Islands”, and today we present you 11 such paradises for cat lovers.
- Enoshima (Kanagawa)
If you are in Tokyo, the nearest cat island is in the Kanagawa region. Enoshima, which you can get to by crossing the bridge across from Katase-Enoshima Station, is best known for its shrine in a cave and the associated legend of a dragon that fell in love with a beautiful girl. The area is known for its beautiful beaches, which are very popular with surfers. However, the best time to visit this island is outside the tourist season, when you can see as many cats as people. There are really a lot of them when there are no crowds and a lot of noise.
- Okishima (Shiga)
Okishima is a floating island in the middle of Lake Biwa. This island consists of a community of fishermen that numbers only 350 people. The island can only be reached by boat, which departs from the port of Horiki. On this island, bicycles are the only means of transportation, so cats are absolutely safe from the dangers of road traffic.
- Sanagishima (Kagawa)
Hidden among several fishing islands is the island of Sanagishima. The island is located on the coast of Kagawa and can be reached by boat from the port of Tadotsu.
4. Aoshima (Ehime)
Aoshima is perhaps the most sparsely populated of Japan’s cat islands, with only 15 permanent residents compared to many times that number.
You can reach this island by boat from Nagahama port, but prepare well for this day trip, as there is not a single hotel or restaurant on this island, not even a food or drink vending machine!
5. Muzukijima (Ehime)
Muzukijima is a beautiful citrus-covered island where the best oranges in Japan grow. Cats feel very comfortable on this island!
- Manabeshima (Okayama)
Located 19 miles from the Japanese island of Honshu is the lonely island of Manabeshima, which has attracted many television crews and tourists with its extraordinary beauty and unspoiled nature. You can reach this island by setting sail from Kasaoka port.
- Iwaishima (Yamaguchi)
The port from which you can reach this island is located in the famous historical town of Yanai.
- Aijima (Fukuoka)
This island is very easy to reach. The train stops just a few minutes walk from Kokura port, from where tourists can take a boat. Aijima Island is located in the Sea of Japan.
- Aishima (Fukuoka)
Go to Shingu port to take a boat to this island.
- Genkaishima (Fukuoka)
Another easily accessible cat island, Genkaishima can be reached from the port of Hakata, which is located in Fukuoka City, the prefectural capital and the largest city in the region. Genkaishima was home to Japan’s largest island cat population until the community was hit hard by an earthquake in 2005, although the cat population is now reportedly increasing again.
11 Kadarashima (Saga)
Finally, we reach Kadarashima. Legend has it that long ago the dog incurred the wrath of the deity of Kadarashima Shrine, Yasakajinja, and was banished from the island. Since their bitter rivals have disappeared, the island is a true cat paradise.