GOTSU, Shimane Prefecture--Perfect for catnaps or just hanging out, houses and beds for felines, created by craftspersons of traditional Japanese "washi" paper here, are gaining in popularity among pet owners.
Makoto Sasaki, 60, and his wife, Satomi, 52, who operate the Sekishu Kachiji Banshi washi workshop, in the Sakuraecho district of Gotsu, Shimane Prefecture, developed the products.
ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi -- Here kitty, kitty! Visitors to Tashirojima Island here will have no trouble finding the fluffy winter coats of the feline inhabitants.
Often called "cat island," Tashirojima, whose perimeter is 11 kilometers, is home to some 200 cats who live alongside human residents, and are no stranger to tourists from both inside and outside of Japan. On a day in mid-December last year, this cat-loving reporter made a visit to the island and its furry citizens.
NASU, Tochigi Prefecture--For winter visitors to the Nasu Animal Kingdom zoo here, "kotatsu" heated tables are provided to keep their legs and feet toasty while the cats all around will warm their hearts.
The special winter kotatsu service is marking its seventh year, allowing sightseers to spend time with the animals at two kotatsu with benches set up in the corner of a space for the free-roaming small dogs and cats.