Did you know that there is a cat shrine in Japan where visitors can actually mingle with real cats? Nearly every city and village in Japan has a local shrine or temple. This place of worship is said to be a dwelling of nature spirits, past ancestors, and religious deities. Kyoto alone has over 2,000 shrines and temples. Japanese, and even tourists, visit these shrines to pay respect to the deities or to pray for good fortune. But one particular shrine in Kyoto is dedicated to our favorite furry creatures – cats.
Nyan Nyan Ji (Meow Meow Shrine in English) is a cat shrine in Japan where cat lovers can relish with all things cat-related. What’s more, visitors can also play with the monks, which are as you might have guessed, are cats.
Every shrine has a group of either monks or maidens in monastic living with other members of their order. Monks work together, share meals together, and pray together in the temple. If you visit the Meow Meow Shrine, you’ll be surprised to see that its monks are adorable felines.
The head monk, a white furry kitty named Koyuki, sits with good grace in front of the altar as she readily interacts with her worshipers. With her grumpy face and imposing stance, Koyuki instantly bewitched the hearts of her visitors. And just like that, she quickly became a trending star on social media.
Meet Koyuki, the head monk of Meow Meow Shrine
But Koyuki isn’t the only crowd-pleaser of the shrine. This particular cat shrine in Japan also has other monks that are equally as charming as the head monk. Working in the temple as assistant monks are three male cats (Waka, Chin, and Aruji) and three female cats (Ren, Konatsu, and Chicchi).
Koyuki’s owner revealed that the Meow Meow Shrine was opened by a Japanese artist Toru Kaya in 2016. Toru Kaya is a well-known painter of shrines and temples. Moreover, the famous painter is also a huge fan of cats which explains the main theme of the temple.
The shrine also features cat-themed artworks such as drawings and statues to make you appreciate the beauty of felines even more. When you’re done hanging out with the cute monks, you can order cat-themed food and drinks inside the shrine. There’s also a souvenir shop inside the temple called “Littlefootmark Ren” where you can buy cat-inspired items.
A place where you can worship and interact with cats as well as enjoy cat art and café, this cat shrine in Japan is indeed a piece of heaven for all cat lovers. If you’re planning to go to Japan on your next trip, don’t forget to pay a visit to Meow Meow Shrine. You can find the place at this address: 520 Yasekonoecho, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto 601-1253, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Koyuki and the rest of the shrine’s lovable monks are all waiting for you.
Here’s what people have to say about this awesome cat shrine in Japan