Discover Tashirojima & Ainoshima, Japan’s amazing ‘Cat Islands’

Tashirojima, Japan’s most famous ‘Cat Island’

There are many places to see when visiting Japan but for any cat-lover Tashirojima, a small island in Ishinomaki (Miyagi) is definitely one not to miss. Over the last decades Tashirojima has become known as the ‘Cat Island’ because of its ever growing cat population – there are actually now more cats living on the island than people.

On the island cats enjoy a special attention and respect from their human peers who care for them due to a local belief that feeding cats will bring good wealth and good fortune.

Cat Island, Tashirojima, Japan


In the middle of the island there’s a small cat shrine named Neko-jinja that was built by fishermen in the honor of a cat accidentally killed by a stray rock.

Cat Shrine, Neko jinja, Tashirojima, Japan

Credit: Wikipedia

Ainoshima (Fukuoka), the other ‘Cat Island’ rising to fame

Not as well-known as Tashirojima, Ainoshima (Fukuoka) started becoming popular recently after photographer Fubirai spent five years documenting the lives of the semi-wild cats on the island and shared his amazing photos. Like on Tashirojima, cats on Ainoshima are well-respected and cared for by the local inhabitants.

Below are some photos taken by Fubirai. Visit this link to see all of them:

Cat Island, Ainoshima (Fukuoka), Japan

Cat Island, Ainoshima (Fukuoka), Japan

Cat Island, Ainoshima (Fukuoka), Japan


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