If your luck has been down, take a trip down to visit the fortune cats in the Gotokuji Temple in Tokyo.
Based in Setagaya City, the temple is a good place to visit if you want a reprieve from the fast-pace of central Tokyo.
Here’s a quick history lesson – sometime in the 17th century, a feudal lord was seeking shelter from a thunderstorm and came across the temple.
According to the legend, the cat owned by the priest of the temple waved the lord in. Therefore, all fortune cats now have their paw raised in invitation. The lord repaid that kindness by donating funds to the temple and decided that all of his family would be buried there when they died.
Since the cat’s kindness helped to rebuild the temple, it has become synonymous with good fortune. Worshippers and visitors to the temple can buy the fortune cats and keep them until their dream is fulfilled.
Once their dreams come true, they return and donate the cat to the temple to show gratitude of their wishes coming true. After the centuries, the collection of cats has grown into a mesmerising army.
There’s also the option to write your wishes on wooden ema plaque and hang them up in hopes that the will come true. The well-kept temple gardens and the quaint streets surrounding it is the destination for a total breakaway from hectic reality, even just for a little bit.
Gotokuji Temple: 2 Chome-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya City, Tokyo 154-0021, Japan
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