I am sure most of you have seen the Japanese little cute cat doll in front of a shop, meneki neko, the lucky charm that invites happiness (including money). Have you ever wondered where it all started? Here we are, Gotokuji temple located in Setagaya,Tokyo. For your convenience, let me copy and paste the history from Wikipedia here: "...a wealthy feudal lord named Ii Naotaka was taking shelter under a tree near Gōtoku-ji temple during a thunderstorm. The lord saw the temple priest's cat beckoning to him and followed; a moment later the tree was struck by lightning. The wealthy man became friends with the poor priest and the temple became prosperous. When the cat died, supposedly the first maneki-neko was made in his honor."
However, this is one off the five most popular beliefs of the cat's origin and unfortunately I can't really verify it. There is a nice old man at the temple who will voluntarily give you some detailed information about the temple and some hidden facts. Please visit and support them if you pass by.
Shops around the station are vastly associated with 'cat', some examples below. If you visit Gotokuji temple, I challenge you to count how many maneki neko are there!
Access: Gotokuji station (豪徳寺駅) on Odakyu Odawara line. About 7- 10 mins walk from the station.
The temple is the only main point of interest in the area, although it is quite unique and has quite a big space to walk around, there isn't much any other interesting stuff to shoot.