Enjoy a laid-back atmosphere among the temple cats

Cat-Themed “Power Spots”

Gotanjoji, the “Cat Temple”

Gotanjoji, a temple of the Soto school, is affectionately known by the nickname “Cat Temple.” As many as 80 cats once made their homes here; today, the number is about 30. There’s something almost idyllic about the sight of so many cats lounging around the temple grounds. Adoption fairs are held every spring and autumn, earning Gotanjoji another nickname, the “Matchmaking Temple.” Cat lovers will swoon over the top-quality original cat souvenirs as well, like black cat-themed seal stamp books.

Dozens of kitties line up for dinner out of a rain gutter

The cats are fed twice a day, at 7:00 am and 3:00 pm. At mealtime, they line up at a long rain gutter that serves as a food dish. They’re served by trainee monks chosen for the task. Tabbies, torties, blackies, long-hairs – this is your chance to say hello to all the different cats that live throughout the temple. Each one has its own collar and its own name.

Image courtesy of Echizen City Tourism Association

These people-friendly cats have the run of the place

The cats have full run of the temple. They’ll sleep anywhere, even on top of the fortune box! That’s why there’s a sign saying, “Don’t mind the cats! Push them aside to get your fortune.” Gotanjoji advocates against abandoning pets; it also solicits donations to vaccinate and sterilize its feline residents. Those who donate ¥1,000 or more receive a special cat-themed gift, like a pawprint amulet.

Image courtesy of Gotanjoji

Volga rice, a taste of Echizen

This dish, made from omurice topped with pork cutlet and sauce, is a local favorite. With different kinds of omurice fillings and sauces served by different restaurants, there’s always a new flavor to try.

Image courtesy of Echizen City Tourism Association

Experience Japanese paper-making at Echizen Washi Village

The 230 meter-long Washi Village captures the charm of traditional Japanese paper, with such attractions as the Paper & Culture Museum, the Udatsu Paper & Craft Museum Gallery, and the Papyrus-Kan. You can watch paper being made and even make some yourself.

Image courtesy of Echizen City Tourism Association


Location/Access 32 Shodencho, Echizen-shi, Fukui-ken
About 30 minutes by JR limited express train from Komatsu Airport to Fukui Station → about 13 minutes by JR limited express train from Fukui Station to Takefu Station → about 16 minutes by bus (get off at “Ote” stop) or about 12 minutes by taxi
Inquiries Gotanjoji
TEL 0778-27-8821

Echizen Washi Village
TEL 0778-42-1363

Echizen City Tourism Association, Tourism & Craftsmanship Information Office
TEL 0778-24-0655

The posted contents are current as of the day when posted, but may have changed since posting.

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