When Tama the cat became the official stationmaster for the Kishi station in western Japan in 2007, she immediately became a tourist attraction. People traveled to see Tama sitting in the stationmaster’s box, watching tourists come and go.
During her tenure, Tama had contributed an estimated 1.1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to the local economy. Now Tama has been elevated to the status of goddess by the Shinto religion.
Tama will be succeeded by another calico cat, Nitama, now an apprentice stationmaster. Hopefully Nitama can carry on the tradition of Tama and bring tourists and money flowing into Kishi, which was once a forgotten train station.