Visit Japan’s Largest Maneki-Neko Museum
Cuteness, charm, and good fortune at this mecca dedicated to Japan's signature lucky cat
Calling all cat lovers: if you've been to a Japanese restaurant, you've most likely been greeted by a maneki-neko, or beckoning cat. Often situated at entrances to welcome guests, these cute feline figurines are traditional talismans said to usher in luck and wealth.
Just an hour from the city of Nagoya in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture, you'll find one of Japan's largest museums devoted entirely to this traditional talisman, with a whopping 5,000 cat figures of all sizes and appearances awaiting you to impart a dose of good fortune. Set within a stately and stylishly renovated building reminiscent of Western-style residences of the Taisho period (1912-1926), you'll find a tribute to this charming and iconic symbol of Japanese culture.
The museum's gift store offers many fun items. Don't miss the café space where you can enjoy tea in a teapot shaped like a beckoning cat, or the experience of painting an original beckoning cat at Studio 894, which opened on September 7, 2023, right in front of the museum. There is no better place to enjoy one of the cutest examples of traditional Japanese culture.
Access: From Nagoya Station, take the JR to Ozone Station (about 10 minutes), then transfer to the Meitetsu Seto Line to Owariseto Station (30 minutes). It’s about an eight-minute walk from Chuo station to the Maneki-Neko Museum.
2 Yakushimachi, Seto-shi, Aichi-ken
|Approx. 1 hour or more