Dream of a place where you can find hundreds of plushy cats? Well, such place exists in Japan! Aoshima, a 1-mile long island, is known as “Neko no shima” or “Cat Island” due to its overwhelming number of cats. It was published in 2015 that cats outnumber humans 6 to 1. Yes, you read that right, there are six cats per every person!
Welcome to Aoshima, Japan
Aoshima, or Cat Island is located in Ehime Prefecture. There are around 120 cats in this island populated by around 20 people who defend the cats.
In order to get to Cat Island, you take a one-way boat from Port Nagahama. The cats that inhabit there curl up in abandoned houses, or just wander about the quiet village.
Why so many cats?
Basically, cats were brought by fishermen as pets. But cats, being more feral than anything, went astray and the overpopulation of cats could not be controlled.
Now, Japan, unlike some other countries, is pretty cat-friendly. So there is no torturing or eating cats here. They are cared for and fed. This cause the populations of cats to rise.
Wait, there are more?!
Aoshima is not the only cat island in Japan. As a matter of fact, there are at least eleven more! That is correct! Aoshima is not even the most popular of them. Tashirojima is another cat island where residents take care of the cats.
In this island, people treat cat like kings but would not adopt them as they consider it inappropriate. However, they do take care of them and feed them. It still looks like a purradise.
The largest cat island is called Genkaishima.
Cat Island: Tourism
Aoshima and all the Cat Islands are open for visitors. From far away you can see the large population of cats waiting on the deck. This is an interesting feat given that all most of these villages have to offer is, well, cats.
Inhabitants of the islands find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of visitor they have been getting after the island was popularized on social media in 2015.
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