THE LIFE JAPAN

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Gotokuji temple

cat
temple

Do you like Lucky Cats? If yes, we recommend you visit ‘Gotokuji Temple’ in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. You can’t help being surprised by the corner of the temple where countless Lucky cats are displayed.

Why are there so many cats are there?

They are said to bring good fortune. Many people buy them to wish for the well-being of their family or business success. They bring their Lucky Cat to the temple when the wish comes true. This is why the temple has so many Lucky cats. This Gotokuji temple has various sizes of Lucky cats from a couple of cm up to 30cm.

Lucky cats on sale in Gotokuji temple.

The folk history of the lucky cat

When Naotaka Ii, the 2nd lord of Omi province (Now Shiga prefecture) visited Koutokuan, a small temple, after falcon hunting in Edo (now a suburb of Tokyo), a cat beckoned him into the temple. Then the weather suddenly changed to a thunderstorm. While he was sheltering from the rain and talking to a temple priest, he and the priest became friends.

Later, Kotokuan received a donation from Naotaka which became his family’s temple after it was rebuilt. It was renamed Gotokuji temple after Naotaka’s buddhist name.
Eventually ‘Maneki-neko Hall’ (Lucky Cat Hall) was built in the temple and worship of the lucky or beckoning, cat as a symbol of good luck led to the prosperity of the temple.
This Folk history of Gotokuji temple is one of the origin stories of the lucky cat.

Maneki-neko Hall

Three-Story Pagoda

Three-Story Pagoda, 22.5m in height was built in May 2006. The Japanese zodiac sculptures and lucky cats are situated in various places around the structure.

Three-Story Pagoda

A lucky cat in the three-story pagoda.

Main Gate

The Main Gate was originally built in 1884 (Meiji 17). It was rebuilt in early Showa period after the Great Kanto Earthquake and now welcomes visitors to the Temple.

Main Gate

The detail of the main gate

Stickers on the ceiling of the main gate

Other buildings of Gotokuji temple

Main Hall

Reception

Altar

A drawing room(Shoin)

Bell Tower

Other spots

A foo dog statue sitting on a big incense burner

A Buddha statue peacefully watching over those interred at the temple.

Six Jizos

Votive pictures filled with various wishes

The grave of Naosuke Ii, the 15th lord of Omi Hikone domain.

  • information

    Name
    Gotokuji temple
    Address
    2-24-7, Gotokuji, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 150-0021
    Access

    10 mins walk from Gotokuji station on the Odakyu Line 5 mins walk from Miyanosaka station on the Tokyu Setagaya Line

    Tel
    03-3426-1437
    Opening Hours
    6am to 18pm
    Reception 9am to 4:30pm