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Tashiro-jima (island) is located at a 40-50 minute ferry ride from Ishinomaki port in Miyagi prefecture. There is a particular reason why tourists continue to flock to this island with a population of not even one hundred people. The reason is cats. Within the area of just 3.14 sq. km, there are as many as 100 cats! It is nicknamed as Neko-jima (cat island) and is said to have more cats than human inhabitants. Cats come in herds to welcome you as you step down from the ferry. The island houses cats in all of its corners and is irresistible to cat lovers! Also, the cat shrine Neko-Jinja in the center of the island is selected as one of "one hundred island treasures" by the ministry of transport.
- Tashirohama, Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi
- Contact No.
- Approx. 40-50 min by ferry (Ajishima Line) from Ishinomaki port (Usually 3 round trips/day)
- Time Required
- 90 minutes
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Reason Behind the Many Cats on Tashiro-jima
Food reserves are an important issue on an isolated island like Tashiro-jima; however, there was a problem caused by rats who were eating and damaging those. To prevent this damage at least a little bit, many households started to have pet cats, who reproduced and naturally increased over time. The south side of the island supposedly has the most cats.
Things to Pay Attention to at Tashiro-jima
Feeding the cats is prohibited, as it may damage the cats' health. Also, make sure to bring something to eat, as places serving food are quite limited. Bringing dogs onto the island is generally not allowed.
How to get to Tashiro-jima
The only access to Tashiro-jima is by the Ajishima Line ferry leaving from Ishinomaki port. Make sure to plan your travel ahead of time, as there are only about three ferries leaving in a day. Beware as ferries may get canceled due to weather conditions.