Tokyo - Japan (Day 10 Part 1) Setagaya, Tokyo and Gotoku-ji

February 04, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

After a great night's sleep it was amazing to wake up with a view of Tokyo and the Rainbow bridge. I felt completely refreshed and ready to roll. I had a list of wanted I wanted to do but weather was a factor so I kind of changed the order of events a little. With a greater chance of rain in Tokyo and a little less chance in Odawara I decided it was the best day to go go on my Odawara adventure. I drank my can of coffee and was off.

My first stop along the way was Setagaya (世田谷区), a special ward in Tokyo. I have to admit that this was my most challenging adventure among my various trips. I somehow got on the wrong line and had get off at a random station and transfer not once but twice. Maybe I was not as well rested as I thought? I also forgot to bring any map or information.

An early morning walkAn early morning walk Despite my delay I made it to Setagaya and had breakfast near the station. I was really looking forward to seeing the Birthplace of Maneki-Neko (Beckoning cat). I got rough directions to Gotoku-ji and just kind of walked in the direction that it was described to me. I found a temple but as I entered was not really sure it was the correct place. It was early and nobody was around so I just kind of looked around hoping I was not completely lost.  Unlike other parts I had visited there were very few signs in English as this was mostly a residential area and well away from the hustle of the city.

Incense BurnerIncense Burner I enjoyed the calm air and feel of the temple but saw no signs of the famous Maneki-neko. I started to fear I was in the wrong place. Almost ready to go back to the street I saw an area near the cemetery and a few maneki0neko statues. As I rounded a corner I was overwhelmed by hundreds of little Maneki-neko statues!

Maneki-Neko with Autun leavesManeki-Neko with Autun leaves It was everything I had read and more to see them in person. Even I was surprised at how much fun it was to see these cute statues. As I was there it started to rain so I did not spend a ton of time there. I headed back towards the train station but took a different road. It was my first time in the area so I wanted to experience it as best I could in the short amount of time I was there. There were a lot of beautiful houses and small shops. People just started to fill the streets though most shops were closed still. I did find a little shop next to the station that sold Maneki-neko cookies. I could not resist...


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