Meet the lucky cats in suburban Tokyo: Gotokuji Walking Tour

2 Ratings
  • Live Guide
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Private Tour
  • E-Ticket
  • 3.5 hr

3.5 hours walking tour of Gotokuji Temple and Shoinjinja Shrine areas in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, where a quiet residential area prospers. Setagaya Ward, the venue for this tour, is one of the 23 wards designated as a special ward under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and is a vast area located in the southeastern part of Tokyo including Jiyugaoka and Seijo, which are luxury residential areas. With natural reserves such as parks and valleys overflowing with greenery, this residential area is readily accessible to residents. Access to the city center is also relatively good, and since long ago large corporate executives, prominent sports players, entertainers and others have developed this to be high class area, and people living in Tokyo are often admirers of this area

Itinerary Details

Operated by: Trip Designer Inc.

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Setagaya Hachimangu

Autumn matsuri held at Setagaya Hachimangu, one of the larger shrines in Setagaya Ward. Notable for the dohyo (sumo ring) set up in the grounds of the shrine and the honosumo (奉納相撲) event.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Gotokuji Temple

Gotokuji Temple is the beginning of the Kotokuin hermitage built by Kira Masatada who built Setagaya Castle in 1480. Originally it was Rinzai sect but in 1584 it became a temple of the Soto sect. There are many sights in the precincts such as the tomb of Ii Naosuke, the greatest authority of the Tokugawa shogunate in the middle of the 19th century, the three-story pagoda, the worshiping of the invincible Kannon, but the most attractive point is the good fortune beckoning cat, known as the “manekineko” to some. This lucky cat, known country-wide, is said to have been “born” here. The sight of 1,000 or more of these “cats” lined up is now one of the landscapes that represents Tokyo. It is said that the lucky cat, familiar to Japanese as a good luck symbol, is the birthplace of Gotokuji Temple. You’ll learn about the origin of the lucky cat in the guide on the day of the tour.

Duration: 35 minutes

Stop At: Shoin Shrine

Shoinjinja Shrine was founded in 1882 with the master Yoshida Shoin at center. In the precincts, there are the tombs of Shoka Village school children including Yoshida Shoin, and the building which reproduced Shoka Village school. Mr. Yoshida Shoin, who was born in Hagi City in Yamaguchi prefecture in 1830, built the cornerstone of modern Japan as a spiritual leader of the Meiji Restoration, but it was executed in rest prison by Ii Naosuke, thus putting a close to a short life of 30 years. His philosophy, which is also called “Yamato Damashi (Japanese spirit),” influences the thought and way of thinking of contemporary Japanese people, including Ito Hirofumi, who became Prime Minister of Japan in the first cabinet. It is an interesting point of this area that the Shoinjinja Shrine that enshrines Yoshida Shoin, who ended the era of the samurai, and the Gotokuji Temple, where Ii Naosuke sleeps to protect the era of Samurai, is within walking distance.

Duration: 25 minutes

Pass By: Carrot Tower

The landmark of Sengenjacha in Setagaya.

Stop At: Tokyu Setagaya Line

You can take this local line with full of locals after the tour.

Duration: 10 minutes

Pass By: OMAKASE

The tour supplier of this activity.
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