Welcome to Manabe-shima
Manabe-shima (真鍋島) is home to more cats than people, and its one small town is an atmospheric maze of old wooden houses, a solitary village shop that has been in business since the Meiji period, and an old-fashioned school. As with everywhere in this part of Japan, Kōbō Daishi got here first – the great man spent time at the Enpukuji (円福寺) temple. More recently, the island and all its characters have been wonderfully captured in Florent Chavouet's illustrated book Manabé Shima. The locals are sure to show you a copy (and point themselves out in it).