Can’t get enough of the super cute beckoning cat – Maneki Neko? Well read on to find out all about how you can create your very own Maneki Neko for extra good luck! First, make your way to Yanaka Ginza and then walk to Cafe Neko E-Mon nearby.
Yanaka is a very special old neighbourhood located in east Tokyo (near Ueno). Yanaka is surrounded by two more vintage neighbourhoods; Sendagi and Nezu, and all together they are affectionately known as ‘Yanesen’. If you love Edo-style Tokyo, old wooden buildings and traditional shops and cafes, then you’ll definitely love Yanesen!
In Yanaka in particular, there is a focus on cats. Yanaka Ginza is a famous street which you can easily reach from Nippori Station on the Yamanote line. Head west from the station and you’ll soon come across a large set of stairs leading down to a traditional open-air shopping street; Yanaka Ginza. The stairs are a well-known resting spot for the area’s many street cats. See if you can spot some!
Yanaka Ginza has vintage stores, traditional snacks, clothing and plenty of cat-themed items like Maneki Neko and cat-patterned bags. See what souvenirs you can find to take home.
Cafe Neko E-Mon
Cafe Neko E Mon is located 10-15 minutes south of Yanaka Ginza. The street has many temples on it and is a beautiful walk! Next door to Neko E Mon you can browse many different types of Maneki Neko at their store, Yanakado.
Head into the traditional-style cafe and choose a table. The fittings and menu are all decorated with cats; have fun choosing some cat-themed snacks and drinks! If you love traditional Japanese sweets and tea, we recommend the Mamemitsu Set.
The Cat Painting set comes with one blank white Maneki Neko, your choice of tea or coffee and a small cat-paw cookie for 1600 yen. The lovely waitress/owner speaks some English and will ask if you want the Maneki Neko for good luck with money, or good luck in general. Use the Japanese Play Color K Pens (by Tombow) to create some beautiful, original designs on your blank cat! You’ll receive some examples to get inspiration, or make up something completely unique.
Once you’re finished, your little Maneki Neko will be carefully packaged and you’ll also receive a little red mat for it to sit on. Display him at home, somewhere you can see him often. Wishing you all the good luck!
Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street:
3-13-1 Yanaka, Taito, Tokyo 110-0001
Walk west from Nippori Station on the Yamanote line or northeast from Sendagi station on the Chiyoda line.
Cafe Neko E Mon:
5-4-2 Yanaka, Taito, Tokyo 110-0001
Walk southwest from Yanaka Ginza street or Nippori Station, or east from Sendagi Station.
Yanakado Maneki Neko shop:
Next door to Cafe Neko E Mon is their own maneki neko shop!
5-4-3 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0001
If you’ve been to Yanaka Ginza or the Maneki Cafe, let us know in the comments below!