Japan, home to all things kawaii and Hello Kitty, hosts not only a "Rabbit Island", but several "Cat Islands" too, the latest rising in popularity is Aoshima Island. Honestly, this is not that surprising at all.
Outnumbering the human residents by 6 to 1, the felines have managed to co-exist with the residents since the end of WWII, according to Toronto Sun. However, the remote island was home to nearly 1,000 people in the past (many of whom have now relocated in search of better housing and jobs closer to the cities).
Introduced to the island as a means to destroy the mice that bombarded the fishermen's boats, the cats of Aoshima now thrive on rice balls, energy bars, and other food they can get from tourists. Additionally, they don't have to worry about predators since they don't have any, leaving them free to roam about and multiply as they please.
Known as a crazy cat lady among all my friends, in a heartbeat I would definitely stop by here just because of the cats. And I'm not the only one. Tourists like 27-year-old Makikio Yamasak are stoked to visit the purr-fect paradise saying, "There is a ton of cats here, then there was this sort of cat witch who came out to feed the cats which was quite fun. So I'd want to come again." There may not be any other attractions, stores, or places to try out the local food, but to all my feline lovers, the cats are best attraction there is.
While some may enjoy the hoards of cats, others aren't too fond of them. One local was seen shooing the cats away from digging up her back garden. Other residents are more concerned with the rise of tourists. Hidenori Kamimoto, 65, said, "If people coming to island find the cats healing, then I think it's a good thing. I just hope that it's done in a way that doesn't become a burden on the people who live here."
Check out some more pictures below:[gallery type="slideshow" ids="77584,77585,77586,77587"]
Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!