Want to know more about Gotokuji temple in Tokyo?
The Gotokuji temple is famous for its Maneki-Neko cats and beautiful surroundings. It’s located in the outskirts of Tokyo and is one of the most unique and beautiful temples around.
Down below you can read more about the temple and useful information before you visit:
Table of Contents
The history behind Gotokuji temple
According to the legend, during the Edo period, a cat led a feudal lord from Hikone to safety during a thunderstorm. When getting inside the temple the cat beckoned the lord with a waving gesture – which is why the Maneki-Neko have one paw raised.
The lord became thankful and eventually collected enough funds to rebuild the temple and make it his family temple – which later became the Gotokuji temple.
During time, the local people started to offer Maneki-Neko figurines to the temple as a sign of their gratitude when one of their wishes came true.
In addition to offering Maneki-Neko cats, locals also hang up ema boards where they write down their wishes. This is something you also can do when visiting the Gotokuji temple.
What is there to see?
At the Gotokuji temple there are many beautiful things to see. In addition to the famous Maneki-Neko cats there’s a beautiful pagoda and relaxing gardens to stroll around in.
Thousands of Maneki-Neko figurines
The main attraction at the temple is the Maneki-Neko cats. There are thousands of them, from big to small, decorating the area left of the main hall.
It’s truly a unique place to see, so there’s no surprise why it has become so famous.
The three-tiered pagoda
In addition to the Maneki-Neko statuettes, the beautiful three-tiered pagoda is another reason to visit the this temple. It’s one of the most beautiful pagodas I’ve ever seen, surrounded by lush nature and its calm peaceful atmosphere.
I had no idea that this pagoda existed before visiting, so it was a nice surprise when I saw it.
Enjoy the beautiful surroundings
One of my favorite things to do at the Gotokuji temple is to stroll around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. It’s beautiful all year round, but it’s the most beautiful during koyo.
Koyo is the Japanese word for the autumn foliage season, which is one of the most magical things to see in Japan.
How many maneki-neko cats are there?
In the Gotokuji temple there are over thousands of maneki-neko cats – from big to small.
Since locals and tourists put new maneki-neko cats there every day, the number is growing. Therefore it’s hard to know the exact number of the cats at this temple.
Is there an entrance fee to the Gotokuji temple?
No, it’s free to visit the Gotokuji temple in Tokyo.
I personally love the Gotokuji temple. I’ve visited many temples in Japan, and there was something extra magical about this one.
It’s the mix between the peaceful atmosphere, the beautiful surroundings, and the fact that there isn’t too many tourists around that makes this temple so special.
It’s such a beautiful place, so make sure to visit if you have enough time in Tokyo.
How to get there
It’s easy to go to the Gotokuji temple from central Tokyo. From Shinjuku Station you can take the Odakyu line (Hon-Atsugi direction) directly to Gotokuji Station.
From Gotokuji Station it takes around 10-15 minutes to walk to the temple. It’s a nice walk through a lovely neighborhood.
More about Gotokuji temple
- Address: 2 Chome-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya City, Tokyo 154-0021, Japan
- Opening Hours: The entrance gate is open from 6am to 5 pm. The reception where you buy the maneki-neko cats is open from 8am to 4.30pm.
- Nearest Station: Miyanosaka or Gotokuji Station
Map of Gotokuji temple
Down below you have a map of the temple. If you have a pocket wifi during your stay in Tokyo I can recommend using Google Maps to find the temple a bit easier.
Things to do near Gotokuji temple
- Shokoku-ji Temple
- Jotoku-in Temple
- Shoko-in Temple
- Hanegi Park – Beautiful park where you can see the cherry blossom during spring
- Shimokitazawa – 4 stops with the Odakyu Line from Gotokuji Station
Do you have more questions about the Gotokuji Temple in Tokyo? Leave a comment below!