Manabeshima Island

Located about 30 km off the south of Kasaoka city in Okayama Prefecture, Manabeshima Island is one of many typically sleepy islands in Seto Inland Sea. It is also known as one of the cat islands of Seto Inland Sea due to the number of cat inhabitants vs. people.

This was one of the most non-adventurous island trips we’ve done in Japan (no packrafting/kayaking to deserted islands, no spearfishing, no stream-trekking, not even hiking) however it became one of the most memorable trips thanks to the illustration book by Florent Chavouet about this small island, which humorously depicts stories about many local islanders.⁣
It was as if visiting a real life movie set where you find all the characters roaming around. Everyone was there *except* the main character, Flo!⁣

One of the only hotels on the island, Santora, is only accessibly by foot over the mountain, or by boat via their pontoon “pier”. Santora offers spacious rooms with shared bathrooms, and delicious, generous meals made from local ingredients and seafood. Most accommodation on the islands in Seto Island Sea have an outdoor sea-water pool where fish are stored and kept alive until consumption (not for pets).

The main village is filled with maze-like paths winding around charming wooden houses, surrounding the fishing port, which is the main industry of these sleepy islands. Cats roam the village freely.

PrefectureOkayamaSize1.49 sq kmPopulation200AccessFerries run frequently between Kasaoka Port and Manabeshima. It takes 45 mins by fast ferry and 70 mins by normal ferry.Getting aroundOn foot