Gotokuji Temple is a Buddhist temple from the Edo period that is believed to be the birthplace of the Maneki-Neko cat. The temple is located in Setagaya, Tokyo, so it is a very special place for cat lovers.
Legend has it that Ii Naotaka escaped an unexpected thunderstorm in the early 17th century because he was invited to the temple by a cat. To show his gratitude to the cat, Naotaka decided to dedicate the temple to the Ii clan.
The famous Maneki Neko figures can therefore be found all over the temple grounds.
These figures, which are very popular in Japan and can often be seen in shops, are supposed to wave good luck with their waving paws. Although there are many different types of Maneki-Neko figurines that can choose to raise their right or left paw, Gotokuji Temple specializes in the right-paw version of this lucky symbol.
Three minute walk east of Miyanosaka Station (Tokyu-Setagaya Line), which is a 10-minute train ride (6 stops) from Sangenjaya Station.
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