Aoshima, Ehime

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Native name: 青島
Iyo-Aoshima Island Aerial photograph.jpg
Aoshima is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Location Seto Inland Sea
Coordinates 33°44′10″N 132°28′55″E / 33.736°N 132.482°E / 33.736; 132.482Coordinates: 33°44′10″N 132°28′55″E / 33.736°N 132.482°E / 33.736; 132.482
Area 0.49 km2 (0.19 sq mi)
Coastline 4.2 km (2.61 mi)
Highest elevation 298 ft (90.8 m)
Region Shikoku
Prefecture Ehime Prefecture
City Ōzu, Ehime
Population 13[1] (2018)
Ethnic groups Japanese
Cats in aoshima island 1.JPG

Aoshima (青島, Aoshima), also known as Cat Island (猫の島, Neko no shima), is an island in Ehime Prefecture, Japan, known for its large number of feline residents. Cats outnumber humans by a ratio of approximately 10:1[1]. They were introduced on ships in the area, but remained on the island and vastly repopulated.[2][3]

The island is roughly 1 mile (1.6 km) long.[citation needed] It was formerly part of Nagahama in Kita District, but, as of 2005, is part of Ōzu.


In 1945, the island served as a fishing village with a population of approximately 900[2]. In 2013, the island was estimated to be home to 50 residents[citation needed]. In 2018, Ehime Shimbun reported that the population had decreased to 13 with an average age of "over 75"[1].

The feline population of the island has been reported between 120 and 130 between 2015 and 2018[2][1]. In 2018, it was reported by Ehime Shimbun that all cats on the island would be spayed and neutered in order to lower the feline population as a response to the declining human population[1].

Transport links[edit]

Aoshima is accessible via a ferry departing from Port Nagahama, which takes around 30 minutes. The boat ride is located in front of JR Iyo-Nagahama Station.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Nakai, Yuuto (February 21, 2018). "ネコが多い「青島」全匹に不妊・去勢手術" [Cat Island Aoshima to Spay and Neuter All Cats] (in Japanese). Ehime Shimbun. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  2. ^ a b c Kirkpatrick, Nick (March 3, 2015). "Cats outnumber people on this mysterious 'Cat Island'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  3. ^ Taylor, Alan (March 3, 2015). "A Visit to Aoshima, a Japanese 'Cat Island'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Aoshima (Cat Island) - Ehime Travel Guide | Planetyze". Planetyze. Retrieved 2017-08-08.