Aoshima Island is Heaven for Cat Lovers

Written by Bryce

Aoshima Island in Japan is loaded with feral cats.

If you’re routinely purring, using the cat ear filters on social media, or spending your work day looking at cute cat pictures on the internet, you need to book a flight to Aoshima Island yesterday. But here’s where things get absolutely crazy, and you can consider this proof the universe loves you: in addition to Aoshima Island, Japan has 10 other cat islands loaded with furry, fuzzy, adorable felines. This is possibly the only decent competition for Japan’s My Little Pony cafe, and we don’t even know where to start.

Similar to Aoshima Island, these other islands offer all the same great kitties that were introduced many, many moons ago by local fishermen. Perhaps the second most famous of the islands, Tashirojima, is even more popular with locals. Imagine that? We’re not saying you’ll find a Ruby Tuesdays and a Starbucks on Aoshima, but it is the more likely of the Japanese cat islands to riddled with western white folk in search of a cuddly vacation. We want to take a catboat (yeah, those exist) straight over to them all.

Back to Aoshima Island’s goodies though — the cats were first introduced by the fishermen to protect their silkworm population because, you guessed it — Japanese fishnets at the time were spun from gloriously luxe silk. The Japanese cat islands now see a steady flow of tourists (if you read this, it’s clear Japanese women are obsessed with kittens) interested in straight up cat love while entirely banning dogs. You read that correctly — no canines allowed. We’re not sure if a wall was built or what, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a cuddly puppy on Aoshima Island or any of the other cat islands unless that dog is small, has pointed ears, and meows.

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About the author


Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, planes with WiFi, summer clothes, & Sucre brown butter truffles. Bryce's aim is to do to luxury what Elton John did to being gay. Follow her on twitter @brycegruber

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