IS JAPAN COOL? TOKYO
1. A maneki-neko (welcoming cat) figure is considered a lucky charm for business people and shop owners. Gohtoku-ji is considered the “birthplace” of maneki-neko and also sells these figures.
2. The tale of maneki-neko: During the Edo Era, Gohtoku-ji was almost bankrupt. The priest’s cat attracted a wealthy patron; the temple then became prosperous.
3. A “cat tomb” (neko-zuka) on the temple grounds serves as a retirement home for maneki-neko that have granted people’s wishes and been returned to the temple. Visitors see a bizarre landscape — the temple’s specialty — filled with endless figures of seated maneki-neko.
4. Generally, a horse is drawn on lucky ema charm boards. Here at this temple, however, a cat is pictured on ema.
5. Essentially, Gohtoku-ji is a power spot for financial good luck. But nowadays, many cat lovers also visit the temple to pray for the health of their pets.