Aichi

Meet the guardian cat Tokonyan in the Pottery City

Cat-Themed “Power Spots”

The Giant Manekineko

Tokoname, Aichi, is famous as the “Pottery City,” but it’s also Japan’s largest producer of manekineko, good-luck cat figurines with one paw raised. A giant manekineko known as Tokonyan watches over the city. Stretching between the train station and the start of the popular Pottery Walk is the so-called Manekineko Street, home to no fewer than 39 ceramic manekineko. And on the wall above them are 11 more ceramic figures shaped like real cats. Can you spot them all?

You’ll feel blessed just walking down this street

The face of Tokonyan, the guardian cat, looks down on the city from his majestic perch on Manekineko Street. He’s 3.8 meters tall and 6.3 meters wide, and can also be seen from Tokoname Station. A contest was held in 2008 to decide his name, and “Tokonyan” was chosen from over 1,400 suggestions. Between Tokonyan and the 39 manekineko created by Tokoname artists, you’ll feel blessed simply walking through this neighborhood.

The nostalgic Pottery Walk

The Pottery Walk weaves its way through the old pottery district that flourished during the 1920s and 1930s. The dozens of chimneys along the steep path form quite a charming sight. Especially nostalgic is the “Clay Pipe Slope,” where clay pipes from the Meiji Era and shochu crocks from the Showa Era cover the walls and tell the story of Tokoname’s history. And at the top of the slope, you’ll find plenty of elegant cafes and galleries, making this a great place to explore.

Grilled giant littleneck clams

The purple butter clam, also known as the giant littleneck clam, is a delicacy of the Chita Peninsula. When grilled, they make a hearty, flavorful dish.

Watch the sun set from the Noma Lighthouse

If you’re looking to watch a beautiful sunset on Ise Bay, there’s no better place than the Noma Lighthouse, in the neighboring town of Mihama. It’s a mecca for lovers, and among its attraction is a bell symbolizing the bonds of eternal love.

INFORMATION

Location/Access 2 Chome Sakaemachi, Tokoname-shi, Aichi-ken
About 5 minutes by Airport Line train from Chubu International Airport to Tokoname Station; about 10 minutes on foot from Tokoname Station to “Tokonyan”
Inquiries Tokoname Tourism Association
TEL 0569-34-8888
http://www.tokoname-kankou.net/

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