You can also take a taxi or – if you have enough time – walk. The timetable changes fairly often, so you need to check the Ajishima Line (網地島ライン) homepage! The cats were extremely disturbed prior to the big earthquake and tsunami. The port area is currently not as beautiful as it used to be due to all the garbage around, but they made the best out of it.
It’s all in Japanese, so I made a graphic that will help you read / understand the ferry schedule. The ferry terminal has small coin lockers and a toilet. Note: On the cat-shaped sign they’re thanking all the visitors who are coming even after the disaster. After walking for about 5 minutes, I was still in the port area.
On top of that the majority of the (human) population is over 65 years old! The only elementary school had to close down in 1989.
On my way to “Manga Island” I ran into a few cats … It was created by students of the “Tokyo University of Arts” in 2010. And then I finally reached “Manga Island” (マンガアイランド). Those buildings were built in 2000 and are camping lodges that can be used from April to November.
It was HUGE and as you can see it consisted of many smaller cats! Manga Island is on a hill, so you’ll hike up a little. Maybe now you can understand why everybody was safe! However at the time of my visit it wasn’t possible to book a stay there – I think it had to do with the damage by the tsunami.
Now I can finally provide some valid information in English for anybody who is interested in visiting!
Now, before we start some of you are probably wondering what the heck this “” is and why you should visit! Tashirojima (田代島) is a small island and belongs to Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture.
If you have a closer look at any of the buildings you’ll find so many cute details! Behind the buildings there’s a small area where you can buy food, drinks and some souvenirs.
At the time of my visit that was the only place where you could get something.
You can access JR Ishinomaki Station by local train coming from Sendai. Even a year later – in May 2012 – they haven’t been able to get everything back to normal.
From Tokyo you can take a Shinkansen to Sendai first and then take a local train to Ishinomaki. From Ishinomaki Station you can take a bus that leaves in front of the station. Ishinomaki looks much worse, you’ll see that in my next blog post! The majority of the houses are at a higher altitude (as you’ll see later in this post), so the tsunami couldn’t reach them.
So I have already been to some major tourist attractions there.