AreaSanriku Coast

Cat Island: Tashirojima

田代島 | Tashirojima

Small island where cats outnumber people

Photo by Roger Smith

Photo by Miyagi Prefecture

Photo by Roger Smith

Photo by Roger Smith

  • Brian Takahashi

    Writer

    Last Update
    March 1, 2019

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  • Tashirojima is a small island in Ishinomaki Bay. Though only about three kilometers in length, it has become famous for its most adorable inhabitants–cats! Today the island’s feline inhabitants outnumber their human neighbors six to one.

    Tashirojima has more to offer in terms of sightseeing than just the cats themselves. Manga Island is a recreational area where you can rent a cat-shaped bungalow or a tent space. The island cats are wise to this and gather nearby, waiting for treats. The interiors of the kitty-shaped bungalows are decorated with cat-themed art drawn by famous manga artists including Miyagi’s own Tetsuya Chiba.

    The island also has a cat shrine that was constructed in honor of a cat that died in an accident. Visitors offer cat toys and maneki neko (traditional images of a cat with one paw raised in a beckoning fashion), along with kitty-oriented prayers. Pleasant walking trails lead through forests around the island. For those who stay overnight, the island is far enough from Ishinomaki and Sendai to have dark, starry skies. Many of the islanders are engaged in seaweed harvesting or fishing. Be sure to greet them with a smile. There is one general store and one cafe, Shima no Eki. As this is an island with few facilities, day-trippers and campers should bring their own food and take their trash home with them.

    I recommend staying the night, but if you aren’t able to, take the morning ferry so you can have enough time to explore the island. In winter you can still get to the island but the cat cabins are not open.

    WEBSITEhttp://www.city.ishinomaki.lg.jp/cont/10053500/0050/3639/3639.html

  • Sanriku Coast

    Tags

    Animals Art & Culture Do & See Family Friendly Nature RAF Related Sanriku Coast Temples & Shrines

Details

ADDRESS

Tashirohama, Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi-ken 986-0023, Japan

ACCESS BY PUBLIC TRANSIT

About 1 hour by boat from Ishinomaki Chuo Ferry Terminal (石巻中央発着所).

From Ishinomaki Station, board Yamashita Kadonowaki Line bus (山下門脇線, 16-min. ride). Alight at Chuo Itchome (中央一丁目) bus stop. The Chuo Ferry Terminal is a 1-min. walk from bus stop. Bus timetable here. At terminal, board Ajishima Blue Liner (ブルーライナー) or Mermaid II (マーメイド II) bound for Tashirojima Island. Alight at Nitoda Port (仁斗田港). Ferry timetable here.

ADMISSION

Free

LANGUAGES

Japanese only

HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE

No

HOURS

9:00–15:30

CLOSED DAYS

None

PHONE

0225-95-1111

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