We all know that cats like fish and that they sleep a lot. But did you know they also enjoy traveling around? Meet the rescue kittens Daikichi and Fuku-Chan - felines who, together with their owner Daisuke Nagasawa - have been traveling through Japan for the last eight years. Under their traveler's belt, they already have 47 prefectures and more than 1,000 destinations visited. All of their adventures are documented in pictures that have attracted almost 6,700 followers on Instagram.
It all started in 2011 when, due to his work, Nagasawa would often be away, and Fuku-chan wanted to have none of it. Hence, began the pranks and aggressive behavior which prevented Nagasawa from leaving Fuku-chan in the pet care. The solution came out of nowhere - he decided to take both Fuku-chan and Daikichi on a trip around Japan.
To make transportation easier and comfortable, Nagasawa adapted a stroller to fit the needs of his cats. Another frequent "companion" is a backpack in which both cats enjoy their rides through beautiful landscapes.
So scroll down and take a look at some of the journeys they have documented so far!
More info: Instagram
Finally, on our third visit here in the side of Lake Yamanaka, we were able to get the finest view of whole Mt. Fuji, right down to the base.
Early this morning, we walked around the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office to enjoy the view of cherry blossoms. This is our favorite cat walking trail near our office.
We are now walking around in the shopping district called "Mizuki Shigeru Road" at Sakai Minato City in Tottori Pref. This Prefecture has by far the largest catch of "queen crabs" known as high-class seafood in Japan. The little girl taking care of Daikichi and Fuku-chan is our niece.
Two Torii gates. We were off to Hiroshima on business and we planned to do a little sightseeing in Miyajima Island while we were at it. First, we visited Itsukushima Shrine on the island. It's a Shinto shrine best known for its "floating" Torii gate which is one of Japan's most popular tourist attractions, classified as one of the Three Views of Japan.The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and our government has designated it as National Treasures.
Fuku-chan the lord of Himeji Castle might be commanding now, "All forces, defend the castle!!" This castle is also known as White Heron Castle due to its elegant, white appearance and widely considered as Japan's most spectacular castle for its imposing size and beauty.
This time I went with "an autumn leaf topping" on Fuku-chan.
Fuku-chan can drink water out of a bottle anytime, anywhere.
Nothing is more pleasant than to take a walk seeing cherry blossoms on a fine spring day like today.
Come on baby, do the Locomotive with us!
Fuku-chan with Mt. Fuji! While we were on the business trip to Shizuoka, we got the chance to see Mt. Fuji against the blue sky. They were standing at the lakeside of Lake Tanuki, located in a corner of the vast Asagiri highland.
Fuku-chan also enjoyed picking apples on her favorite bamboo basket at Acchan Apple Park.
This heavenly silver waterfall in the forest is called "Tatsuzawa Fudo Waterfall" in Fukushima Pref., known for those in the know. It was so beautiful as the scenery appearing in the films of Studio Ghibli. In reality, I should've had an opportunity to visit there later. It's too early to see golden red maple leaves and to feel more like the turn of the season on this spot.
"Pon-chan, looking through the window in Asama Highland Hotel, was shy but really wanted to be friends with Daikichi."
"We arrived at Oshino Village. This area is called "Oshino Hakkai (8 Oceans of Oshino)" which used to be a big lake. In ancient times, Mt. Fuji erupted many times over until the lake completely dried up. However, some small springs remained because they were able to receive water from Mt. Fuji's underground water reservoir. Oshino Hakkai is one of the representatives of those springs."
We are walking with Daikichi on Hoshitoge Rice Terrace covered with snow. Located inland of southern Niigata, the Tokamachi area is home to multiple renowned rice terraces. Among the mountains of the Matsudai region — within Tokamachi — lies the photogenic Hoshitoge rice terrace.
Fine arts appreciation at a lakeside museum "Narukawa Art Museum" and nap time at the cafe (Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture). Our kitties were allowed to enter the museum.
In Miyajima Island, we visited the following two historically important buildings designated as "National Important Cultural Property:" The Five-storied Pagoda was originally constructed in 1407, and it was restored in 1533. In 1587, it was built as a Buddhist library in which the chanting of Senbu-kyo sutras could be held every month.
"We've arrived at Natsuigawa Valley, (or Natsui River Valley), known as one of Fukushima Prefecture’s most beautiful hiking spots. Daikichi was so into the nature observation in there. In Iwaki, compared with the other cities in Fukushima, the leaves turn rather late, so the forest still looked full of greenery."
This picture of Mt. Fuji was taken on the east side of Lake Tanuki just after we moved 1.5km away from the lookout shown in the last post.
Myogi Shrine was established in 537 A.D. There are a lot of National Important Cultural Properties in there. As soon as we went up the long and steep staircase, we finally found a gorgeous main shrine painted using black lacquer, sharing a roof with the worship hall connected with a passageway.
Fuku-chan says, "I'm never tired of waiting on the dashboard!"
"We arrived at Mt. Myogi in Gunma Prefecture, ranked among Japan's three most noted places of rugged beauty. The fantastically shaped rocks sculpt dramatic forms of natural beauty and offer various attractive landscapes."
"Today we took a walk with Fuku-chan in the park in Tokyo, bright with all sorts of flowers."
Fuku-chan looks like the lord of Himeji Castle, doesn't she. This castle is both a national treasure and a world heritage site in Hyogo Prefecture where Dad was born. Unlike many other Japanese castles, it has never been destroyed by war, earthquake or fire and survives to today as one of the country's twelve original castles. The castle complex was started to built in the 1400s until completed in 1609.
"There used to be more than 25,000 castles in Japan, but only 12 are remaining original castle-towers and only 5 are designated as National Treasure. This black castle "Matsue Castle" behind Daikichi is one of them. It's located in Shimane Pref."
"After we stayed overnight at the pet-friendly hotel "Kyukamura Fuji," we finally came back to Mt. Fuji."
"We stopped by Nemba Village near Lake Sai in Yamanashi Pref. These sceneries reminded us of what the Japanese landscape used to be on the good old days."