Oct 10, 2018 Attraction Onomichi

Interacting with Cats While Strolling Around Onomichi

#Animal ,#Attraction ,#Nature ,#Park&Garden ,#Photogenic

Onomichi, the Town of Hills, Is Also a Town of Cats

The area around Senkoji Temple, known as one of the major sightseeing locations in Onomichi, is full of winding narrow hills. It’s long been known as a town of hills, but it’s actually a town of cats as well. The shopping district of Onomichi faces the Seto Inland Sea, and has all the charms of a port town—and where there is a port, there are also cats.

The town of Onomichi is full of friendly stray cats (there are also some pet cats), and interacting with cats is an activity many visitors enjoy.

I Went to Meet Some Cats

In order to actually meet some cats, I took a stroll in the town of Onomichi. The Higashi Tsuchido area has many private houses and sightseeing locations like temples and shrines. It’s a place you will meet many cats just by aimlessly strolling through the narrow alleys.

That said, I visited in the afternoon on a midsummer day. A thermometer near Onomichi station showed was 39°C. So when I headed towards the spot I had in mind, some doubt as to whether there would actually be any cats out in this scorching heat.

There were! First, I found this cat with a dignified face at an open space, in the shade under a tree.

This open space is a park called Onomichi Kyorakuen. It’s known as a spot where cats often appear, and it’s a place where cats can laze about in the shade cast by trees no matter the season. Cherry blossom flowers also bloom here in the spring, so you can also have a flower viewing party!

Onomichi Kyorakuen
Address 13-17 Higashitsuchidocho, Onomichi (map)
13min walk from JR Onomichi station

I found two cats at this park. They were resting under trees, and didn’t run away, even when I got this close to them.

Cleaning himself while checking his surroundings. Cats in the area are used to people, so they aren’t too cautious in their behavior. People who love cats will be thrilled! Next, I changed locations and went to an area a bit further downhill. There’s water here, so it’s a comfortable place for cats.

Two cats, perhaps parent and child, drink water and rest.

The sweltering heat has risen above 35°C. Everyone is so sluggish.

Cats Relaxing Everywhere

It was very hot this day, so there were hardly any cats in the street, but I did find one cat that was on a walk.

A pretty bold male cat! He wasn’t very young, and had an alpha personality.

Once it’s a cooler season, you’ll find many cats on the street. During the summer they rest in the shade of trees at the park, under gazebos, or at the cafe, Neko no Hosomichi “Cat Alley”.
I recommend going to any of those locations.

They’re All Friendly!

What’s surprising when you interact with the cats in Onomichi is just how friendly they are. While stray cats in other areas will run away when they meet people, the cats in Onomichi will come right up to you.

The cat I first met at the park was sound asleep, like this. Even when I brought the camera near him, he showed no signs of moving.

The two cats at Kyorakuen later became four. They’ll unexpectedly come right up to you, just like this. Still, there are some points to keep in mind when interacting with the cats. First, do not give the cats any food.

Also, be considerate when interacting with them, and try not to chase or pat them too much. At any rate, I was able to meet many cats, and couldn’t believe that I had felt nervous at the beginning! If you visit Onomichi, try mingling with cats and enjoying some laid back, comforting time.

Access to Onomichi from Hiroshima City

Bullet Train+JR Train

Price:¥4,750      Time: 1h-1.5      Changes: 1 time

Hiroshima Sta.

Fukuyama Sta.
JR Shinkansen
(24mins)
¥4,750

Onomichi Sta.
JR Sanyo Line
(18mins)

JR Train

Price:¥1,490      Time: 1.5h-2h      Changes: 1 time

Hiroshima Sta.

Itozaki Sta.
JR Shinkansen
(1h18mins)
¥1,490

Onomichi Sta.
JR Sanyo Line
(7mins)

Bus

Price:¥1,750      Time: 1.5h       Changes: None

Hiroshima Bus Center

Onomichi Sta.
Highway Bus
Flower Liner
¥1,750