Maneki Neko at Gotokuji Temple

The birthplace of Maneki Neko

By Gonzague Gay-Bouchery    - 2 min read

Hello Kitty may not actually be the most famous Japanese cat after all! It all started in 1697 according to the legend! At that time, before the Gotokuji Temple was what it is now, a poor and lonely priest was living alone with his cat.

One day, during a heavy storm a rich nobleman was stranded in a heavy rainstorm and took refuge under a nearby tree. Once settled the nobleman saw the priest’s cat at the Temple’s entrance signaling him to enter. Surprised, the nobleman followed the cat and as soon as he moved toward the cat the tree was struck by lightning. Believing that the cat had saved his life the nobleman decided to become the temple’s benefactor and soon the temple became prosperous.

As you must have guessed by now, the Maneki Neko are charms for good luck and prosperity not only in Japan but all across Asia and especially in China.

Just for this story alone Gotokuji Temple is a “must see” when visiting Tokyo. Smaller than most famous temples around Tokyo, Gotokuji is unique for its design. It’s three-storied pagoda and Kyoto-like atmosphere give even more weight to this beautiful story of the Priest’s cat and the nobleman.

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Find out more about Gotokuji Temple.

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Gonzague Gay-Bouchery

Gonzague Gay-Bouchery

A true contemplative experience. TokyoStreetView comes from this huge passion that some of us have for Japan in order to offer people around the world the chance to enjoy a bias-free experience of Japan and its many wonders. Unlike other videos you may find on Japan, TokyoStreetView videos are purely contemplative where our camera(s) are your eyes, our tripod your chair. Just sit with us, relax and let an amazing world unfold in front of you in a succession of short ~10 seconds sequences of RAW videos of Japan. We hope our passion for this mesmerizing country will touch your heart though our videos like it did for us the first day we set foot on this beautiful archipelago that is Japan

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Elena Lisina a year ago
Thanks for the information and good video! Must visit it!