On my way to “Manga Island” I ran into a few cats … It was created by students of the “Tokyo University of Arts” in 2010. And then I finally reached “Manga Island” (マンガアイランド). Those buildings were built in 2000 and are camping lodges that can be used from April to November.It was HUGE and as you can see it consisted of many smaller cats! Manga Island is on a hill, so you’ll hike up a little. Maybe now you can understand why everybody was safe! However at the time of my visit it wasn’t possible to book a stay there – I think it had to do with the damage by the tsunami.You might be disappointed that there aren’t as many cats as you thought.Yes, there are many other spots in Japan where you can run into cats, but not on small, isolated islands!
From Tokyo you can take a Shinkansen to Sendai first and then take a local train to Ishinomaki. From Ishinomaki Station you can take a bus that leaves in front of the station. Ishinomaki looks much worse, you’ll see that in my next blog post! The majority of the houses are at a higher altitude (as you’ll see later in this post), so the tsunami couldn’t reach them.You can also take a taxi or – if you have enough time – walk. The timetable changes fairly often, so you need to check the Ajishima Line (網地島ライン) homepage! The cats were extremely disturbed prior to the big earthquake and tsunami. The port area is currently not as beautiful as it used to be due to all the garbage around, but they made the best out of it.It’s all in Japanese, so I made a graphic that will help you read / understand the ferry schedule. The ferry terminal has small coin lockers and a toilet. Note: On the cat-shaped sign they’re thanking all the visitors who are coming even after the disaster. After walking for about 5 minutes, I was still in the port area.They also mentioned that it was the only place to get souvenirs. Even the toilet there was cat-themed, featuring cat scribblings on the female toilet wall!It is recommended that you bring your own food and drinks! From Manga Island you can continue walking towards the “Cat Shrine“. This building used to be Tashirojima Elementary School.