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.
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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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!