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Gotokuji Temple

Home of the lucky cat or maneki-neko

Japan, Tokyo
1 hour

The Gotokuji Temple, located in Setagaya, Tokyo, is a historic Buddhist temple and it said to be the place where the lucky cat or Maneki-neko or beckoning cat origins

You usually see many beckoning cat figurines where one paw is raised in a beckoning gesture especially in Japan and China. You can buy them in many shops and they are considered to bring good luck and fortune.

How did it start? According to folklore, a feudal lord was beckoned to the temple by a cat, which saved him from lightning. Grateful for the cat's gesture, the lord became a benefactor of this temple, leading to the association of maneki-neko with good fortune.

Nowadays, at Gotokuji you can actually see a collection of maneki-neko figurines on the temple grounds. They are placed by visitors making offerings for good luck, prosperity, and success.

You can also buy a beckoning cat at the temple shop to take home or place it as well to the others.

Besides the cat figurines, the Gotokuji temple features traditional Japanese architecture, serene gardens, pagodas, prayer halls, and statues. 

Entrance fee: free


It is a bit outside of central Tokyo, but definitely worth it if you are into quirky things and a cat lover (like Chrissi is).