TOKYO >> Countless cats beckon visitors at a temple in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood.
Legend provided by the Gotokuji Buddhist temple says it is the birthplace of beckoning cats, the figurines widely believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
Some visitors come to the temple to snap a few photos, while others pray and make wishes.
The cat figurines, known in Hawaii as maneki neko, are so plentiful that the Setagaya neighborhood seems proud that they may carry more luck than the rest of the city combined.
The streets leading to the temple are crammed with gift shops selling anything printed with beckoning cat images. A local train is adorned with the images, as is the temple’s vending machine.
And, of course, temple visitors believing in the luck the cats might bring them can obtain more figurines for their own undoubtedly overpopulated shelves.