All About Japan

Going to Gotokuji, The Lucky Cat Temple

| Temples , Weird Japan

If you are obsessed with cats, then if there is one temple you should visit: Gotokuji Temple—the temple adorned with hundreds of maneki neko, or lucky beckoning cat statues.

Legend has it that a cat beckoned a feudal lord to the Gotokuji Temple, saving his life from a lightning bolt that soon struck when he had been standing. Since then, people began offering such beckoning cats to the shrine as an offering.

Beckoning cats with the right arm raised are said to bring luck for money and general fortune, while cats with the left arm raised are said to bring luck for meeting people or customers. While beckoning cat statues are usually holding a gold koban coin which represents the attainment of wealth, Gotokuji maneki neko aren't holding anything—because they believe that while a cat may beckon luck, it is up to you to capture it.

Location: 2 Chome-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya City, Tokyo 154-0021

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