Aoshima, Ehime

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Native name:
Iyo-Aoshima Island Aerial photograph.jpg
Aoshima in 1981
Aoshima is located in Japan
Location in Japan
LocationSeto Inland Sea
Coordinates33°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
Area0.49 km2 (0.19 sq mi)
Coastline4.2 km (2.61 mi)
Highest elevation298 ft (90.8 m)
PrefectureEhime Prefecture
CityŌzu, Ehime
Population13[1] (2018)
Ethnic groupsJapanese
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. Felines outnumber humans by a ratio of approximately 10:1.[1] They were introduced to combat rodents on fishing boats, but remained on the island and reproduced in large numbers.[2][3][4]

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 was a fishing village with a population of approximately 900.[2][4] 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 island attracts tourists who visit the cats and give them food.[4]

The feline population of the island has been reported as between 120 and 130 between 2015 and 2018.[1][2] In 2018, it was reported by Ehime Shimbun that all cats on the island would be spayed or 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 in front of JR Iyo-Nagahama Station in Port Nagahama, which takes around 30 minutes.[5]

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. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  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. ^ a b c Meyers, Chris (March 2, 2015). "It's raining cats and tourists on a Japanese island". Reuters. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  5. ^ "Aoshima (Cat Island) – Ehime Travel Guide | Planetyze". Planetyze. Retrieved 2017-08-08.