Many people I know who come to Japan are repeat visitors. They've seen the big shrines and temples of Tokyo, like Meiji Shrine and Sensoji, and end up experiencing a bit of "temple and shrine fatigue". It's likened to the idea that once you've seen one shrine or temple you've seen them all, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Enter Gotokuji Temple. Located in Tokyo's Setagaya ward, the temple is unique because of the wildly impressive number of maneki neko, or beckoning cat statues, dotted around its grounds.
When I say dotted, I should elaborate. These maneki neko are everywhere. Big ones. Small ones. Stashed out in the open, and tucked away in nooks and crannies. Even the ema (wooden plaques used for writing prayers or wishes on) are cat-themed here. If you're a feline fan, or just want a bit of quirkiness added to your next dose of Japan's fascinating traditions, pay Gotokuji Temple a visit.
Gotokuji Temple is located less than ten minutes on foot from Gotokuji Station, on the Odakyu Odawara Line.
Find out more about Gotokuji Temple.
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I'm an Australian who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan - specifically Tokyo and Niigata. I've visited 44 of 47 prefectures, with only Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto left to check out. I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's growing vegan scene.