THE GOTOKUJI TEMPLE
Are you lucky enough to have been to the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa? If you haven’t… Today, our post is all about luck. We are bringing you to Tokyo and we are telling you about the most fortunate place in the world, the Gotokuji Temple.
This original temple is known for its cats, and is also known as “the Temple of the Cats”.
It is said that the popular Maneki Neko was born there, a white lucky cat that has nowadays become an emblematic Asian ornament which waves its paw and represents good fortune.
Legend has it that in the 17th Century, in times of Edo, the temple was very very poor but the monk who lived there always shared his food with his cat.
One day, a feudal lord was caught by a storm and he took shelter under a large tree near the temple. The lord saw the white, black and brown cat waving its paw showing him the way to the temple door. The man was puzzled and decided to take shelter inside the temple and get close to the cat to get a better look. As he approached the temple, the tree was struck by lighting and turned to ashes.
The man was so grateful to the cat for having saved his life that he donated fields of rice and crops and financed all repair work to help it grow. The temple did well eventually and prospered.
When the cat died, a warm funeral was held for her, hence the temple’s current name “Temple of the Cats”. In addition, an area of the temple’s graveyard is exclusively reserved for cat burials.
The Gotokuji Temple was expanded under the sponsorship of the Li clan, and many family members were buried there. A hall was built and dedicated to Buddha Butsuden, as well as a ritual and pray hall, and a small temple devoted to Maneki Neko with a pagoda where there are figures of carved cats.
There is also an office/shop where you can purchase cats and wooden carvings for good fortune.
If you also believe in good fortune, come to the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, a temple of relaxation where we will pamper you; a luxury resort in the Mediterranean where you will live a totally Asian experience.