Located in Tokyo’s Setagaya district, the Gotokuji Temple draws thousands of tourists to explore where this lucky beckoning cat was born. Back during the Edo period, a priest at the Gotokuji Temple cared for a cat who beckoned the lords and servants into shelter with a wave to escape the dangers of a thunderstorm. In return, the lord chose the Gotokuji Temple as his family’s cemetery and donated rice and land to the priest.
Nowadays, hundreds of replicas of this lucky cat figure dominate the grounds of the Gotokuji Temple. Visitors are able to easily visit during the day via public transportation and the entrance to the grounds is free.
When entering the Gotokuji Temple, visitors are encouraged to purify their body with soul and incense at the lion statue by lighting a stick of incense and placing it on the statue.
The quiet temple is the perfect escape from bustling Tokyo and full of Japanese culture and history. A replica of the lucky cat can be purchased on the grounds, along with an opportunity to receive a Omikuji, which are fortunes. If the fortune is good, patrons are encouraged to keep it. But if the fortune is bad, it is customary to tie the fortune to a nearby tree to leave the bad luck behind.
The cemetery at Gotokuji Temple is also a wonderful place to explore as it is rich in Japanese history and holds the remains of the Ii Clan.
This unique experience is a memorable one for cat lovers and those wanting to experience ancient Japanese architecture, along with those wanting to collect some super cute souvenirs!
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