Tashiro-jima (or Tashirojima), 田代島, is a small island in Japan. It has become known as “Cat Island” due to the large stray cat population that thrives as a result of the local belief that feeding cats will bring wealth and good fortune. The cat population is now larger than the human population on the island.

There is a small cat shrine Neko-jinja (猫神社?) in the middle of the island, roughly situated between the two villages. In the past, the islanders raised silkworms for silk, and cats were kept in order to keep the mouse population down (because mice are a natural predator of silkworms). Fixed-net fishing was popular on the island after the Edo Period and fishermen from other areas would come and stay on the island overnight. The cats would go to the inns where the fishermen were staying and beg for scraps. Over time, the fishermen developed a fondness for the cats and would observe the cats closely, interpreting their actions as predictions of the weather and fish patterns. One day, when the fishermen were collecting rocks to use with the fixed-nets, a stray rock fell and killed one of the cats. The fishermen, feeling sorry for the loss of the cat, buried it and enshrined it at this location on the island.

There are at least ten cat shrines in Miyagi Prefecture. There are also 51 stone monuments in the shape of cats.



Tashirojima (Cat Island) - Ishinomaki, Japan 

On the island of Tashirojima, the cats outnumber people, and the people like it that way.

It’s no accident that the cats who inhabit Tashirojima, or what has become known as “Cat Island,” in Japan have come to be the island’s primary residents. Cats have long been thought by the locals to represent luck and good fortune, and doubly so if you feed and care for them. Thus, the cats are treated like kings, and although most are feral because keeping them as “pets” is generally considered inappropriate, they are well-fed and well-cared-for.

Despite this, luck and fortune hasn’t exactly come to the human residents of “Cat Island.” In the last 50 years, the human population of the island has dwindled from 1,000 to fewer than 100. As more and more people have shunned the island as it became dominated by felines, the people that have remained have become ever more protective of the cats. Currently, dogs are not allowed on the island to protect the well-being of the cats – and presumably any dog foolish enough to venture onto an island full of feral cats.

Find out how to visit Tashirojima (Cat Island) on Atlas Obscura…

Cat island (Tashirojima, Japan)

So I went!!!!!!! The famous cat island in the middle of nowhere! lol it really was…there are 11 cat islands in Japan and this is one of them.

Despite the long way there…the cat island in Japan was indeed an amazing and memorable trip! I will put up some pics later too.

If you have been to the bunny island too, don’t expect the cats to jump on you like the bunnies do. They are definitely colder and weirder hahaha. But it was very cute to see cats pop out of nowhere when I was walking on the island for 4ish hours. During this time there were only bamboo forests, abandoned empty houses and cats.


From Japan’s rabbit island, we hop over to… cat island! Another incredible sight!

田代島 (Tashirojima)

Tashirojima, otherwise known as “Cat Island”, is an inhabited island in Ishinomaki, Miyagi. A large stray cat population thrives in the area and there are even more of them than humans. People here really love these cats and so dogs aren’t allowed inside the island. It is also known as “Manga Island” because of the manga-inspired structures and cat art in the area.

Japan’s rabbit island and cat island(s) are islands where hundreds of bunnies and cats (respectively) live freely~ with only very few people (residents/caretakers) who stay in the island to take care of them/feed them. (=ↀωↀ=)

Rabbit island is locally known as Okunoshima, while there are about a dozen cat islands in Japan, but the most popular islands are Aoshima Island and Tashirojima. They have become must-visit tourist spots in Japan for cat-lovers and bunny-lovers! 

So, which would you prefer, Bunny Island or Cat Island? 


[Bunny Island] http://ti.me/SMZcPC
[Cat Island] http://dailym.ai/1iCOk0U

Art by littlemisspaintbrush


Tashirojima, la isla de los gatos

Tashirojima es una pequeña isla que pertenece a la ciudad de Ishinomaki en la Prefectura de Miyagi. Actualmente es conocida como “la isla de los gatos” porque existen más gatos que residentes humanos.

Pero, ¿cómo llegaron tantos gatos a la isla? La principal actividad de Tashirojima es la pesca. Sin embargo, a finales del Periodo Edo se criaron gusanos de seda en la isla. Como los ratones son predadores de los gusanos de seda y se volvieron una peste, los residentes comenzaron a llevar gatos para deshacerse de ellos.

Actualmente está prácticamente prohibido tener perros de mascota en la isla.