Just off the coast of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture lies Tashirojima Cat Island, home to about a hundred people and many, many more cats.
Cats were brought to silk-weaving Tashirojima in the Edo Period to keep mice away from the silkworms. They’ve never left, even surviving the 2011 tsunami. The island has a central cat shrine (neko-jinja, or 猫神社). If you don’t do cats, there are also many hiking trails and great sea views. One tip of the island is home to a camping resort known as Manga Island.
To get to the island, catch a bus or train from Sendai Station to Ishinomaki Station, then proceed by taxi (quick), bus (few) or foot (far) to the Ajishima Line ferry terminal. The trip to the island takes around hour. Be sure to double-check departure times!