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The Lucky Cat Temple

GotokujiManyCats

In a corner of Gotokuji Temple, I discovered a Kannon figure totally surrounded by maneki neko lucky cats! Their raised paws are believed to beckon money and good luck into the owner’s business, so shopkeepers from all over Tokyo come here to buy a cat figure and offer it to the bodhisattva, hoping for a big uptick in the bottom line.

Cats, cats, and more cats, plus a few strings of the ubiquitous origami cranes.
Cats, cats, and more cats (plus a few strings of those ubiquitous origami cranes).
The bigger the cat, the bigger the wish!
The bigger the cat, the bigger the wish!
Racks and racks ofcats!
Racks and racks of cats!
Even the prayer plaques at Gotokuji feature cats. My favorite one, though, is the one someone drew on the back of the ema in the upper right!
Even the prayer plaques at Gotokuji feature cats. My favorite one, though, is the one someone drew on the back of the ema in the upper right!
Cats for your every business-building need!
Cats for your every business-building need!

If you’d like to visit Gotoku-ji Temple the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

And just for fun, here are the eleven strangest shrines in Tokyo, with all the inside scoop on the resident gods’ superpowers

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Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

8 thoughts on “The Lucky Cat Temple Leave a comment

    • Wouldn’t it have been even stranger if I’d done this post last week, like I was planning to? o_O I’d also say it was cosmically weird that we took those pictures standing in EXACTLY the same place, but probably that’s where everybody has to stand to get the maximum number of cats into the picture. heh. Do you know if Gotokuji is great at any time of year besides fall? It was gorgeous in November, but that’s the only time I’ve been there. Wondering if they’ve got plum trees or something…

      • You’re right–everyone has to stand in the same spot, but what fun!

        The last time I went was June of 2012–blog post on June 13–and it was quiet, cool, the pagoda kind of glowed in the sunshine. Dunno if they have plum or sakura. Setagaya Kannon has absolutely wonderful sakura. Maybe we should make a plan for a spring outing?

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