You must have seen a cute cat doll with one hand raised up...in restaurants, shops or just your friends’ houses in Japan. Yes yes, they are the so-called “Maneki-neko”: Beckoning cats or Lucky cats, a living tradition since Edo period, around 150 years ago. With a charming expression their mission is just simple: hard work every day to bring best fortune, wealth and happiness to their beloved owners.
You might want to know, that Maneki-Neko’s origin is in Seto city, Aichi prefecture, historically famous for ceramic art. The Maneki-Neko museum is located just here, in Seto city and features a collection of around 5,000 Maneki-neko models not only from Seto but also all over Japan. Different origins, looks, expressions…this Maneki-neko gathering spot attracts tourists and fans from everywhere!!
Also, you might have noticed, that some lucky cats raise their right hand and some raise their left hand. It’s believed that the raised right hand attracts money, while raised left hand invites costumers and people to come. White, black, gold, small or big, cute or cool, charming or a bit scary…which one would you choose??
The best thing at the end: You can actually make your own lucky Maneki-neko friend and bring him/her back home!! (Or delivered later).
Just pick your favorite shape and use crayons, stickers or traditional ceramic blue paint ‘zaffer’ to create your original design. The painting workshops are open for anyone; takes usually 30 minutes to 1 hour and no advance booking is required.
Hours: 10:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Adult: 300 yen
Students: 200 yen
Address: 2 Yakushimachi, Seto, Aichi Pref.
Airport: Chubu Centrair International Airport
Tuesdays (open if public holiday)
From Nagoya Station, take the Meitetsu Seto Line to Owari Seto Station. The museum is a 8-minutes walk from the station.
National Treasure Inuyama Castle and Castle Town
Misokatsu and miso kushi-katsu
Tokoname Pottery Footpath (Yakimono Sanpomichi)
Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Daiginjo Betsuatsurae
Nishio City: Visit Japan’s Matcha Heartland
Toyokawa Inari Temple and Hill of Foxes