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Goin’ Japanesque!

What on Earth!! Top 3 + 1 Extra, Historically Significant Spots for Maneki-neko

I’m sure you all know about maneki-neko. However, do you know where best you can see these in Japan? Here are our top 3 recommendations for places you have to visit at least once + 1 extra. Enjoy the view!

 

1. Gotoku-ji

豪徳寺

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http://find-travel.jp/

Gotoku-ji in Setagaya, Tokyo was built in 1480 and is famous for being the origin of the maneki-neko. It’s also the gravesite of the daimyo Ii Naosuke.

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So many around this jizo statue! Maneki-neko symbolize fortune but they don’t have any.

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This area is probably a bizarre sight for those who have never seen it before. You can feel their power…

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Tip 1
These are soft senbei crackers. The town’s shopping street has a ton of cat goods so definitely stop by.

Nearest station: Gotokuji station on odakyu line or Miyanosaka station on tokyu-setagaya line, Maps

 

2. Imado-jinja

今戸神社

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Imado-jinja is also said to be the origin of maneki-neko. In Japan, there are two places where they originate from.

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It’s also famous as the gravesite for Okita Soji, an irresistible visit for any Shinsengumi fan.

Here’s an article on Shinsengumi: 8 Sightseeing Routes for Kyoto Shinsengumi: Visit Famous and Unknown Places with Ease!

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Tip 2
Imado-jinja worships the god of married couples so many women visit it as a marriage power spot.

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There is a play on words for En-musubi (match making) and En-musubi (tying a circular knot) so it is tied using a piece of red string in a circular shape. Even the wooden plaques are circular in shape. 

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Tip 3
When you go down the stairs of the main temple, you’ll find “Ishi Nade Neko” or “stone petting cat.” As the name implies, petting them will bring you good fortune.

Nearest station: Asakusa station on all line, Maps

 

3. Omatsu Daigogen

お松大権現

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http://onodera88.blog.fc2.com/

Omatsu Daigogen is in Anan, Tokushima Prefecture. A huge maneki-neko greets you…

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Tip 4
Little cat paw prints in front of the stairs! So nice! Be sure to take a photo!

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The maneki-neko here are a little different from the 2 kouun-neko, or good fortune cats. These ones are part of a famous folk legend called “Nabeshima Bakeneko Disturbance.”

Tip 5
It’s too long to explain so… to put it simply, it’s a story of the Edo-era Omatsu-san and his cat. As a result, it is said that wishes that involve competition come true, such as winning lawsuits, passing exams, and gambling. 

Access: Omatsu Daigogen-mae by bus << JR Anan station (Tokushima Prefecture), Maps

 

Extra

4. Tokoname maneki-neko-dori

とこなめ招き猫通り

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http://www.sanpo-photo.com/

Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture is famous for pottery. As such, they have installed 39 maneki-neko and 11 realistic-looking cat statues.

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There’s many unique-looking cats; a very refreshing sight.

Tip 6
Find your favorite out of them all.

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Tip 7
And something I really want you to see is this ginormous maneki-neko! I thought I had spotted 2 brown cats in front of it but those are just realistic-looking statues!

Nearest station: Tokoname station << Meitetsu Nagoya station, Maps

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