Imado jinja shrine 今戸神社
Imado-jinja shrine, for the love of Maneki-neko
The Imado-jinja shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Maneki-neko, the lucky cat. They also venerate Izanagi and Izanami supposed to bring good fortune to couples.
It is not often that one stumbles upon the Imado-jinja shrine by chance. Indeed, it nestles in a residential area northeast of Tokyo, where very few travelers push their walks.
Located near Asakusa Station , Imado-jinja Shrine is well worth a visit. Dedicated to Maneki-neko , the Japanese lucky cat, this shrine is much less well known than the renowned Gotoku-ji , filled to the brim with white feline statuettes with raised paws.
See also: 10 things to do in Asakusa
Birthplace of the maneki-neko
Yet legend has it that the Maneki-neko was born here in Imado-jinja in 1063 . Indeed, an old woman and her cat lived together in Asakusa. Too poor to keep her little animal, she had to sell it. The day she parted with it, he would have appeared to her in a dream asking her to create a statuette in her likeness, allowing her to find happiness. The old lady obeyed and sold her first statuette, then a second, until her little business had a small success, which enabled her to get out of poverty. The baraka of Maneki-neko had just been born.
To read: Neko no hi, the day of the cats
A sanctuary dedicated to couples
But, in addition to worshiping Maneki-neko, the Imado-jinja shrine venerates Izanagi and Izanami, the legendary couple of Japanese mythology whose union would have allowed the creation of the world . The sanctuary is therefore particularly visited by couples wishing each other success in their future marriage. Or by singles in order to find love.
In this temple, the various effigies of white cats are obviously very present. In the center of the enclosure, two displays allow visitors wishing to attract good fortune to hang their ema , a small wooden plaque , flocked with the effigy of two Maneki-neko, on which they will have previously noted their wish.
A very popular temple of the Japanese
If the temple is little known to travelers , many Japanese follow one another all day long in a straight line towards the temple to gather and pray . They ring the suzu , a kind of gigantic bell . After placing an offering, often a coin, visitors bow twice, clap their hands twice, then bow again.
Coincidence or not, Imado-jinja time is the playground of a multitude of cats . Sitting under the big cherry tree or comfortably seated next to their immobile look-alikes inside the temple itself, they are everywhere. To the delight of visitors.
Address, timetable & access
Timetable15-minute walk from Asakusa station
AccessOpen from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.