Monday, March 13, 2023

Visit Tashirojima Island - an island in Japan where the 'residents' are mainly... cats

This is the ideal island for cat fanatics, or those who simply want to travel to places where there are few people.

About 400km north of Tokyo, Tashirojima has long been famous not for its scenic beauty, but for its "residents".

The population on the island is only about 50-60 people, but the number of "four-legged inhabitants" is more than… hundred children. Cats have appeared and roamed the island for hundreds of years, and although they are feral cats, they are quite clingy and often follow tourists to visit.

It is said that Tashirojima became "Cat Island" from the Edo era years in Japan. People here have a tradition of weaving silk, but are often disturbed by rats, eating up their silkworms. Faced with that situation, leader Tashirojima ordered to raise cats and let them go everywhere to prevent mice from eating silkworms. And as a result, the number of feral cats on the island has increased to the point where it is today.

Also because it is a cat island, the island government has taken many measures to protect cats such as: banning dogs on the island, banning littering (visitors are forced to bring all their waste back to the mainland for destruction). ).

In the center of the island is a small cat shrine that people come to worship all year round. Legend has it that this temple was built in memory of a cat who died due to being hit by a rock.

In addition to the nickname "Cat Island", Tashirojima also has another name "Manga Island", in memory of a famous Japanese manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori - the father of Kamen Rider and Super Sentai. ). He once expressed his wish to live on Cat Island, but unfortunately he passed away before he could carry out the plan.

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