By Akemi Miura
Cat Island, otherwise known as Tashirojima, is located 50 min south of Miyagi's Ishinomaki area, accessible by ferry from the mainland.
There are over 600 cats living on the island – six times the number of human residents! With the island's population slowly declining over the years and average age of its residents slowly rising, the island is nonetheless supported by its small fishing port and several local businesses.
The two main areas include Oodomari to the north and Nitoda to the south – the latter village the primary destination for visiting tourists from the mainland. Venturing inland you can also find several points of interest, including the Cat Shrine and Manga Island area.The Cat Shrine is said to have been built by local fishermen in honour of a cat that died in a fishing net accident.
Ferries depart from Ishinomaki's Ajishima Line ferry terminal twice a day, which costs 1,230 yen each way.
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