That's a long time since I hadn't talked about Fukuoka, almost 2 months actually! That's not good ! I'm going to be scold (just kidding). In fact I didn't really have time to go through the prefecture recently but Bene is back, more determined than ever !
Today I will introduce you to a magical place that makes dream worldwide feline lovers : Ainoshima or the cat island.
Did you know that Fukuoka had one of the numerous "cat island" in Japan? No ? Well, me neither.
It's a co-worker who made me discover it. He introduced me Fukuoka's remote islands and strongly encouraging me to go (all my colleagues and even my boss are aware of this blog and always give me good advices about nice places in Fukuoka). There are eight remote islands and I decided to explore them one by one starting with Ainoshima (相島), not to be confused with ... Ainoshima (藍島) located on the Kita-Kyushu city. The islands share the same name, only the kanji characters are different.
After searching about more information on the remote islands, I discovered that
I continued to explore the web and I discovered that this island was counted as one of the many Japanese cat island ! I was of course aware that there were some but I did not look further and didn't know there would be one in Fukuoka too. What a nice surprise!
Ainoshima, a 1.24 km2 tiny island which count about 330 inhabitants for almost 100 cats. It is a very famous fishing spot and professionals as amateurs come to spend their days off there. Moreover, the size of the ferry surprised me, thinking about the size of the island, I thought I would ride a small boat but I was sitting in a huge air conditioned room where a hundred passengers can seat.
Arriving at the wharf, I had expected to see dozens of cats on the dock but there was not a single cat nearby. Venturing into the village, I discovered more and more but as it was very hot and most of them was surely sleeping in a cool area. Nevertheless , I saw about twenty cats, some less shy others allowed me to pet and play with them.
I had not brought food, not knowing if we could feed them or not and I think I have done well because many houses had water bottles placed in front of them to prevent the cats from coming. I guess they can be a nuisance.
Many cats were injured and / or appeared in poor health. As a visitor , I couldn't do much except playing with them hoping it could make them happy.
After enjoying cats for a while, I decided to go around the island, or at least go to the beach to see the stone arch closer. Along the way, I met a bunch of people that made the opposite way and the heat (you'll understand that I'm weak when it is hot) and huge insects crossed on the way made me turn back. Too bad ! I want (and would) go back before the end of the year with Daisuke (I promised him) to do a real visit of the island.
Instead, I went back to town to play with the kitties waiting for the ferry to take me back to the coast.
Access from Hakata station :
Ride the JR Kagoshima line to the Fukkô dai mae station (福工大前), 15 minutes in express for 280 yens;
Then take the community bus "Airando sen" (相らんど線) to Ainoshima Tosenba (相島渡船場), 15 minutes for 100 yens;
Then ferry, 17 minutes for 460 yens;
Access from Kaizuka :
Ride the Nishitetsu Kaizuka to Nishitetsu-Shingu (西鉄新宮), 24 minutes for 270 yens;
Then take the community bus "Airando sen" (相らんど線) to Ainoshima Tosenba (相島渡船場), 20 minutes for 100 yens;
Then ferry, 17 minutes for 460 yens;
Ferry hours (1st April to 30th September) :
From Shingu : 7:50AM, 9:20AM, 11:30AM, 2:30PM, 4:40PM, 6:10PM
From d'Ainoshima : 7AM, 8:40AM, 10:50AM, 1:50PM, 4PM, 5:30PM
Ferry hours (1st October to 31st March) :
From Shingu : 7:50AM, 9:20AM, 11:30AM, 2:40PM, 5:40PM
From d'Ainoshima :7AM, 8:40AM, 10:50AM, 2PM, 5PM