Over 1,000 Maneki-neko!
Characteristics of Gotokuji’s Maneki-neko
More Maneki-neko Throughout Gotokuji

Do these white cats look familiar to you? These cats, called maneki-neko (招き猫), can be found all over Japan, usually in businesses and restaurants, to bring in luck. At Gotokuji Temple in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, you can find a never-ending collection of maneki-neko. The cat figurines at the temple come in many different shapes and sizes, and you can even buy one to bring home. Visit Gotokuji and adopt a lucky maneki-neko figurine!

Gotokuji Temple’s History

Gokuji Temple’s history dates back to the Kamakura period (1185 – 1333), and was established around 1480. During the Edo period, the temple as designated as the family temple for the Ii clan, who ruled the present-day Shiga prefecture area.

Gotokuji is a 10-minute walk from Gotokuji Station on the Odakyu Line. It is an easily accessible temple for those living in the Shinjuku metropolis area.

Maneki-neko Legends

There are a few legends explaining the origin of the maneki-neko figurines. One in particular is related directly to Gotokuji Temple.

The legend takes place in the early Edo period (1603 – 1967). Ii Naotaka, the ruler of the Hikone fief during the time, walked past a small temple. In front of the temple was a white cat that beckoned him to come inside.

Soon after entering the temple, the skies began to thunder and heavy rain poured. Naotaka was grateful to the cat for sheltering him from the terrible weather, and decided to revamp the temple and call it his family temple.

The maneki-neko was created in honor of the white cat that helped Naotaka, and is revered at Gotokuji to this day.

Getting to Gotokuji

Even before arriving at the temple, you can find many maneki-neko related figurines and designs throughout the area.


Maneki-neko statue

Right as you get off at Gotokuji Station, you can find a maneki-neko statue welcoming you.


Maneki-neko design

To get to Gotokuji temple, walk through the Gotokuji Shopping Street. On the street, you will find poles with maneki-neko designs all over them.

Over 1,000 Maneki-neko!


Maneki-neko figurines in the offering area

The most popular spot in the temple is the offering area, where there are over 1,000 maneki-neko figurines. All of the figurines here are offerings made by visitors.


An endless number of maneki-neko…

This eerie but cute sight of over 1,000 maneki-neko in one place is a rare site. Since the maneki-neko figurines are said to bring in luck, imagine how much luck is being stored at Gotokuji!

The maneki-neko figurines belong to the temple, so touching or stealing is prohibited.

Characteristics of Gotokuji’s Maneki-neko


The maneki-neko at Gotokuji don’t carry the koban, or oval coin

Usually, maneki-neko has a oval gold coin in one of its hands. The ones at Gotokuji, however, do not carry the coin.

This is due to the idea that the maneki-neko don’t fully give you luck, but rather create opportunities for you to grasp the luck yourself.

More Maneki-neko Throughout Gotokuji!

There are more maneki-neko throughout the temple, other than in the offering area.

There are hidden maneki-neko throughout the temple, such as on the sanju-no-to pagoda. On the first layer of the pagoda, the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac are carved, along with random carvings of maneki-neko here and there.

Maneki-neko Souvenirs


Maneki-neko of all shapes and sizes

You can buy take-home maneki-neko at the temple office next to the main hall. The smallest are pea-sized, while the largest go up to 30 centimeters in height. Buy one for yourself or for someone who could use some luck!


Nearest stations:
・ Odakyu Line Gotokuji Station
・ Tokyu Setagaya Line Miyanosaka Station

From Shinjuku Station

【Shinjuku Sta.】Odakyu Line / for Odawara
→【Gotokuji Sta.】→ about a 10-minute walk

From Shibuya Station

【Shibuya Sta.】Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / for Chuo-rinkan
→【Sangenjaya Sta.】Tokyu Setagaya Line / for Shimo-takaido Sta.
→【Miyanosaka Sta.】→ about a 7-minute walk

From Haneda Airport

【Haneda Airport Sta.】Keikyu Line / for Shinagawa
→【Shinagawa Sta.】JR Yamanote Line / for Shinjuku
→【Shibuya Sta.】Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / for Chuo-rinkan
→【Sangenjaya Sta.】Tokyu Setagaya Line / for Shimo-takaido Sta.
→【Miyanosaka Sta.】→ about a 7-minute walk

From Narita Airport

【Narita Airport Sta.】Keisei Skyliner / for Keisei Ueno
→【Nippori Sta.】JR Yamanote Line / for Ikebukuro
→【Shinjuku Sta.】Odakyu Line / for Odawara
→【Gotokuji Sta.】→ about a 10-minute walk


2-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
06:00 – 18:00

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