It seems like cat worship is becoming more commonplace in Japan now more than ever, with things like Starbucks’ new drink ware line, cat safety videos, and almost-too-realistic cat socks. Even with all of this, you still haven’t had enough?
You have to look no further than Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, located in the neighborhood of Meguro, to see a massive display of over 3,000 cat figurines and art pieces collected from 29 different artists. This “Idols of the Cat Capital” exhibit records Japan’s fascination with cats over the Heian, Meiji, Showa and Heisei periods of Japanese history.
▼ These cats are representing a scene in "The Tale of Genji."
So, while some works are from Japan’s most recent Heisei era, there are also more traditional representations of some of Japan’s previous eras, each marked with a distinct style.
▼ You can paw around Japan’s literary and cultural history while you’re at it.
This cat exhibit also includes art that isn’t directly related to history at all; it’s just that artist’s particular representation of felines.
▼ Take, for instance, one of these eye-catching Nyan Dolls by Nekono Mina.
Another part of the exhibit includes Yasumaro Ozawa’s “3-D Cat National Caricatures,” which displays national representations in ukiyo-e art and cloth paintings, and the “Showa Cat Idols vs. Heisei Cat Idols” feature, where you can see works of famous cats from those periods like Wakayama Prefecture Kishi Station’s Stationmaster Tama.
There’s also a section of the exhibit where you can purchase some works of art by some of the artists in the “Relay exhibit.” You can help promote local artists while also fulfilling your need for more cat stuff.
The “Idols of the Cat Capital” exhibit is on display at Hotel Gajoen’s Hyakudan Kaidan area until May 19. You can purchase tickets in advance for 1,300 yen or same-day tickets for 1,600 yen. There are also premium tickets you can buy for 1,800 yen that come with an original shoes bag! Premium tickets are limited, so grab one while you can!
We hope there will be as diverse of a turnout as there was to Onomichi’s cat exhibition a few years ago.
“Idols of the Cat Capital” at Hyakudan Kaidan / 「猫都のアイドル展 at 百段階段」
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo / ホテル雅叙園東京
Address: Tokyo-to, Meguro-ku, Shimomeguro 1-8-1
Open: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (last entrance at 4:30 p.m.)
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (last entrance at 7:30 p.m.)
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