Welcome to the Island of Cats
Posted on 17/07/2018

NewJapan

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The island with more cats than people

Cats outnumber humans six to one on this small island in Japan.

Cats outnumber humans six to one on this small island in Japan.
Hideharu Arai/123RF

Aoshima in southern Japan is overrun with cats. In fact, the cats on this small island outnumber humans six to one. You can see hundreds of cats on the streets, resting in abandoned houses or walking around the fishing village.

Legend has it that once the cats were introduced to this island, they multiplied rapidly, becoming the primary residents of Aoshima.

If you're a cat lover, or if you just want to see a town with more cats than people, visit this place. If you spot too many people, be assured that they are tourists like you and not residents.

Interestingly, many Tokyo residents are prohibited from keeping cats in their homes due to housing regulations. This could be the reason behind the rise of visitors to the island and the popularity of cat cafes in Japan's capital.

However, this is not an ideal tourist spot; the only attraction is the cats. There are no restaurants, cars, shops, or kiosks selling snacks, so pack food if you decide to take the ferry to the cat island.

The cats on Aoshima are often dependent upon the food given by tourists. So don't forget to pack some extra rice balls or potatoes to feed the many cats of this unique island in Japan.