Japan has several \u2018cat islands\u2019, but if you\u2019re in Fukuoka there\u2019s one quite close to you: Ainoshima. You might have seen these cats without realizing: the photos of local photographer Fubirai went viral a few years ago (he\u2019s still visiting and documenting the cats), though at the time, few articles mentioned the island or where it was. You can get there from Hakata on local trains and a ferry for about\u00a0 return\u2014the perfect cheapo cat day trip. Of course, the main draw is the cats. There are lots hanging around the small port village\u2014even in the pouring rain, some will be on hand to greet you. Look around for others having a frolic or a snooze. Remember, too, that these cats are feral. Some are friendly, but others won\u2019t hesitate to make their displeasure felt if you push your luck. Ainoshima has more to offer than furry felines, however. The island is small, about 5km to walk round. At the eastern edge is a small shrine and an interesting historical feature: piles of stones dating from the 5th century, called tumuli (probably marking ancient graves). The coastline is idyllic, and keep an eye out for an offshore rock formation known as \u2018glasses rock\u2019 (Megane Iwa). Back to the west side, there are a couple more shrines. A small restaurant by the port serves drinks and simple meals, and the Japanese owner will enthuse about cats and get out her phone to show you photos of her pets. And somewhere on the island (follow the signs in Japanese) is a summer-only onsen. Getting to Ainoshima The ferry leaves the mainland from Shingu Port, so first you have to get there. From Hakata, take a train to Chihaya, then change to Nishitetsu Chihaya (they\u2019re in the same building so the transfer only takes a couple of minutes). Take another train to Nishitetsu Shingu. These are commuter lines so trains are pretty regular\u2014several an hour, and the journey takes 40 minutes. The fare is . (If you\u2019re at the Tenjin side of Fukuoka, take the Hakozaki subway line to Kaizuka and change for Nishitetsu Shingu. This route costs a little more: .) From Nishitetsu Shingu Station you can walk to the port in about 20 minutes. I think it\u2019s fairly easy to spot on Google Maps, but someone else clearly doesn\u2019t agree and built a website to clear up any location difficulties. If you\u2019d rather not walk, you can catch the local community bus. We\u2019re now getting to a point where a smattering of Japanese would be handy; if that\u2019s beyond you, install the Google Translate plug-in for Chrome to help you read the Shingu town website. A word about buses: the first thing you need to know is that the bus starts and ends at the station (at the time of writing, Google is translating Nishitetsu Shingu as Nishitetsu Shinomiya, which isn\u2019t helpful). The second thing you need to know is that the buses travel in circular routes, clockwise and anti-clockwise. The third is that they\u2019re not terribly regular, but are timed to connect with the ferry; the fourth is that each journey costs . The fifth is that you catch the bus from a car park to the left of Nishitetsu Shingu Station. I mean, to be honest, I\u2019d probably just walk if you can. There are a handful of ferry sailings a day. Each sailing takes about 20 minutes and costs each way. Buy tickets from a machine on the Shingu side and a little office on Ainoshima. Just make sure you get the last boat back, because (as far as I\u2019m aware) there\u2019s nowhere to stay on the island. For another cat island at the other end of the country, check our guide to Tashirojima Cat Island. If rabbits are more your thing, check our guide to Okunoshima and its disturbing past.