Gotokuji Temple in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, is a historical temple remembered in a connection with the Ii Family, the chief vassals of the Edo Shogunate.
Along with Asakusa Imado Shrine in Taito Ward and Jisei-in Temple in Shinjuku Ward, Goutokuji Temple is one of the three major cat shrines of Tokyo and is considered the birthplace of the "Maneki-neko" (beckoning cat or lucky cat).
There are various types of Maneki-neko (beckoning cats), some holding gold coins, some with their right hand up, some with their left hand up, some with both hands up, but all the Maneki-neko at Gotokuji have their right hand up. It is generally said that raising the right hand means "invites money", and raising the left hand means "invites people".
The sight of countless Maneki-neko lined up is overwhelmingly amazing, and in recent years it has become a popular tourist spot visited by not only cat lovers but also foreign tourists.
Not only inside the temple, the whole town is decorated with Maneki-neko, including billboards. Also visitors can enjoy seasonal flowers while strolling around.
The Tama-nyan Festival is held twice a year annually at the Goutokuji Shopping Street. There are food stalls, a game corner and an event stage, and the street is crowded with many tourists every year.
Address : 2-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo
Access : a 5-min walk from Miyanosaka Station on Tokyu Setagaya Line or a 10-min walk from Gotokuji Station on Odakyu Line.
Hours : 6:00～18:00 *Temple Office Hour 9:00～16:30
Airport/Sta.Gotokuji Sta. (about 700m) Google Transit