Come hither, says the cat, and everyone follows its beckoning call. It’s luring them Gotoku-ji Temple, in the southwestern corner of Tokyo, which is covered in thousands of cat statues.
The distinctive white felines with one inviting paw raised, are called maneki neko (lucky cat) in Japanese. They can be found in various shapes and sizes, lined up in neat rows, and perched in the temple’s crevices.
Despite Gotoku-ji’s popularity and Instagram aesthetic, a visit here can actually be very quiet and peaceful. This may be due to the temple’s location in Setagaya ward, which is a slight trek outside central Tokyo.
The humble neighborhood has not yet been overrun with tourists, making a visit here a nice escape from the chaos of hotspots like Asakusa.
Gotoku-ji and the lucky cat
If you’re like us, you may be wondering, but why though? In Japan, there’s a reason for everything.
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