Maneki Neko – Lucky Cat – Temple in Tokyo

gotokuji_1

Maneki Neko, lucky cats in Gotokuji Temple

Do you know there is a cat temple in Tokyo? The cat, Maneki Neko is not a pet, it is a symbol of luck or good fortune in Japan. I am sure you have ever seen or heard about a cat with red collar and gold-color bell beckoning its right paw somewhere, maybe on TV, Internet or at an entrance of some shops/restaurants you passed by in Japan.

But the number of Maneki Neko cats at Gokoku-ji Temple is much more than what you can count!

Gotoku-ji is a temple located in Setagaya ward, famous for thousands of lucky cat statue with different sizes. To get to the main gate, you will pass through a shopping street with some symbols of cat also. The street looks quite peaceful with many kinds of cat art!

gotokuji_5

Main gate of Gotokuji Temple

Here we are at the main gate of Gokoku-ji Temple. Its complex is quite large and full of green trees.

gotokuji_6

A family of Maneki Neko

Just turn the corner and you will see a family of cats are waving at you! It looks like a father and a mother with their children. All of them are raising the right paw.

Not only this family of cat, you can see thousands of cats with different sizes right behind!

gotokuji_7

Stone lantern with cats

gotokuji_8

Each cat used to have its own owner.

They are so cute, but remember that they are not your toys! Visitors treat them with high respect and refrain themselves from touching. You can see many people visit Gokoku-ji to pray and hope their wish will come true.

Let me tell you about the legend of this cat. One day when the Lord (Daimyo) Ii Naotaka (1590-1659) was on the way back home, it started raining hard. He stopped at a tree near the temple to hide from the rain and saw a cat was raising its right paw as if it wanted to say something to him. He came closer to the cat. Suddenly a thunderstorm struck the tree where he had been standing by. Thanks to the cat, the lord’s life was saved. For that reason, people strongly believe that Maneki Neko cat brings luck and good fortune to the owner.

gotokuji_9

Get a cat for a good fortune!

People visit the temple then buy one Maneki Neko cat statue and take home to pray. When their wish comes true, they bring the cat back to the temple. That’s why you see many here. Do you want to add one Maneki Neko cat into the temple’s collection?

gotokuji_10

Ema – wood tablet to make wishes. Write your wish and hang it on a tree in the temple

For tour inquiry:
Japan Oriental Tours: Contact Us

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s