Goutokuji (豪徳寺) was first built in year 1480, it is well known as a place where is strongly connected with the Ii clan of the Hikone Domain. And another famous thing about this temple is that it is said to be where the Maneki-neko came from. That’s why sometimes people call it the Cat Temple.
But this time, we are putting the focus on something else~ Goutokuji is actually a secret spot to see beautiful autumn leaves in Tokyo!
This information was actually told to us by a staff who works at Goutokuji! We visited the temple in early autumn and the staff told us that we should come back and visit in mid or late November for the beautiful autumn leaves 🍁
So~ following his words, we came back to Goutokuji in late November in 2016~
The moment you enter the temple you’ll see lovely red and orange colored autumn leaves welcoming you!!!
Goutokuji itself is a beautiful and quiet temple covering quite a lot of grounds, and the autumn leaves just decorated it even better ✨
And since Goutokuji is located a little bit outside the main city center, it is less crowed with visitors! You can enjoy the autumn leaves without having to be walking in crowds of people and your photos won’t have a bunch of heads in there 😆
Because this temple is said to be where the Maneki-neko comes from, you will see them at many places~
The Ema is designed with the Maneki-neko 🐈
And heading towards the inner side of the temple, you’ll see the famous spot full of Maneki-nekos!!!!! 😍
It is a magnificent sight to see this many Maneki-neko together!
You will also see cat food consecrated for the Maneki-nekos.
Each one of the cats represents wishes of the person who consecrated it
You can purchase a Maneki-neko to make a wish for yourself at Goutokuji
This building is where you can purchase a Maneki-neko for yourself
There are many different sizes for you to choose from:
After buying one Maneki-neko of your own, you can put it among the others and wish for good luck from the god 👍🏻
There are believes that Goutokuji temple is where the famous Maneki-neko comes from, and there are a few different stories about it.
To keep it short and simple, the second leader of the Hikone Domain, Ii Naotaka was helped by a cat waving at him at this old temple on his way home from hunting. He accepted the “welcome” from the waving cat and he was able to stay away from the heavy rain and thunder which started after he went under a roof at the temple. Afterwards he was very thankful for the event that happened and he donated a lot of money to this old temple and rebuilt it to be a nice and admirable Goutokuji temple that it is right now.
That is the reason why this temple has strong connections with the Ii clan of the Hikone Domain.
And as the story, this temple became famous for the Maneki-neko and throughout the year there are people coming to put their own cat among the others to make wishes and hoping for good luck and protection from the god. 🙏🏻
That is why there are so many of them in Goutokuji!!
And the Maneki-neko that we got is among them as well ✨
So when you come visit Goutokuji during the autumn leave season, you can also come and get a cute Maneki-neko 🐈
At Goutokuji you can also find real cats hiding somewhere as well~ if you look carefully at the photo below, you will see a cute kitten on the roof of the temple 😍
There are also other Maneki-nekos around the temple, for example on the roof like the photos below
Come and visit Goutokuji in autumn, you’ll be able to enjoy both the beautiful red and orange colored leaves along with many cute cats 👍🏻
Information for Goutokuji (豪徳寺)
- 〒154-0021 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, Gōtokuji, 2 Chome−2−24−7 (〒154-0021 東京都世田谷区豪徳寺２丁目2−24−7)
- Yamashita station (山下駅), Setagaya Line, approx. 9 minutes on foot
- Goutokuji station (豪徳寺駅), Odawara Line, approx. 8 minutes of foot
- Opening hours (Open throughout the year)
- 09:00 – 16:30
- Open all year
- Free to worship
- Time needed
- About 20 minutes (May need more time if taking many photos)
- All Images: TabiScarp