Cat Island | 相島 [ainoshima]
Ainoshima, also known as 猫の島 (neko no shima) or cat island, is a quiet island off Fukuoka.
Interacting with the cats
Most people visit the island to see the resident cats that probably outnumber their human neighbours. Though feral, most of the cats are very friendly and enjoy being petted or getting a belly rub.
Feeding them however, would be frowned upon as it may disrupt the cats’ usual diet of thrown out fish parts and small animals like rodents. Most of the cats can be found near the jetty and surrounding residential area.
Sleeping cat at the Shingu Port Office
Napping cat at the steps of a residence
A 5.4km road goes around the entire island. Along your hike, you’ll find signs that will lead you to view some landmarks on the island.
Ramp for launching boats?
Rocky beach with the sea arch 鼻栗瀬 (hanagurize) in a distance
Even before you hop on the ferry to Ainoshima, you would have noticed that the breakwater near the Shingu Port office is dotted with anglers of all ages and attire. The waters around Shingu and Ainoshima are said to be rich fishing grounds.
Locals fishing at the breakwater
Fishing enthusiasts pitch tents to stay the night fishing
Ainoshima is only accessible via a ferry service plying between Shingu Fishing Port (新宮漁港).
To get to the port, you would need to catch the Fukuoka subway and transit to the Nishitetsu Kaizuka Line (See: Fukuoka Subway)
Alight at Nishitetsu Shingu station, and from there you may make the choice to take the local bus or take a 20min stroll to Shingu Fishing Port.
Scenic stroll to Shingu fishing port
Small wharf nearing the port office
Port office building
Vending machine for buying ferry tickets, top row for adults and bottom for children
Ferry timetable, top row for ferries leaving Shingu to Ainoshima, bottom for the return ferries
There’s a sole restaurant beside the Ainoshima visitor centre, bringing a picnic may be a good idea as they only serve lunch
The only public toilets can be found at the visitor centre