If you love cats and travel, you can have the best of both worlds by visiting this island in Japan. Aoshima Island, also known as “Cat Island,” is an island in the Ehime Prefecture of Japan. The 1-mile long island is known to have a human-to-cat ratio of 1:8.
In this island, you can meet new feline friends, and interact and walk with them.
Aoshima Island was once known as a thriving fishing village in Japan. However, there are now just a few people living on the island while the cat population continues to grow.
Initially, cats were introduced on the island to keep the mouse population in check. Now, Aoshima Island has become a popular destination for tourists, especially those who want to meet new furry friends.
With the growing number of visitors on the island, the cats have adapted and have become friendlier. They are said to be familiar with interacting with human visitors so it won’t be difficult to befriend. Additionally, since there are hundreds of cats on the island, it won’t be difficult to find some to befriend with.
Visitors are allowed to feed the cats but only at the designated feeding station. If you plan to share some food with them, please make sure to do so in the feeding area.
- Aoshima Island is not fully designed for tourists. There are no hotels, restaurants, or shops on the island. Daytime visits here are recommended instead of staying overnight.
- Bring your own water and food because it might be difficult to buy anything on the island. There might even be no vending machine in sight even if vending machines are generally plenty in Japan.
- Make sure to bring your garbage with you when you leave the island.
- Be respectful of the residents, both humans and cats. Majority of the people living on the island are elderly.
Here is how you can go to Aoshima Island:
- Go to Nagahama Port via the JR Iyo-Nagahama Station
- Take a ferry at Nagahama Port
- Ferries run twice a day, one at 8 AM and another at 2:30 PM
- Travel time is around 30 minutes, the morning schedule is more recommended if you plan to get back earlier from the island
- Ferries return to the mainland at 8:45 AM and 4:15 PM
- Ticket price is 1,360 yen roundtrip
Take note that there are no hotels on the island so make sure NOT to MISS the ferry back to the mainland.