When you think of temples and shrines in Japan, you might imagine Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa or Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, both famous sightseeing spots in Tokyo. However, there are many more shrines and temples you should visit in Japan. Let’s take a look at some of the more unique temples and shrines around Tokyo where you can find animals!
None of the following shrines have any real animals—just statues and images of animals. We recommend visiting these shrines and temples not only because they’re sacred places, but also because they offer unique, one-of-a-kind experiences!
If you have an interest in Japan, there’s a good chance you’ll recognize the maneki neko. The maneki neko is that adorable cat with one arm raised, waving. Also referred to as the beckoning cat, maneki neko is thought to bring good luck and great fortune. Many shops in Japan place this cat in their window hoping that it will bring them customers and wealth.
Many locations claim to be the origin site of the maneki neko, but one of the most famous is Gotoku-ji Temple in western Tokyo. The temple is can be found off the Odakyu Line, less than 10 minutes’ walk south of Gotokuji Station. On the grounds you can find a huge number of maneki neko!