Gotanjo Temple–the Kitty Temple of Japan–is home to a community of feral cats cared for by Buddhist monks and also a major tourist attraction. It’s not a bad life being fawned over by tourists and tended to by the Bhuddist monks who live at the temple in Fukui Prefecture.
The monks feed the cats, who spend their days napping on top of the omikuji (fortune) stands and trotting after the monks who ply them with treats.
Visitors can get a special cat fortune that may bring a little good luck with it. These cats are indeed the fortunate exception, as most strays in Japan do not fare so well. “If only the monks, Matsumura San and the rest of Japan would begin to speak out on the importance of spaying and neutering their cats,” says Naoto Matsumura, guardian of the abandoned animals of Fukushima.
“This is the most important thing all of us can do to cut down on the number of unwanted animals and it reduces so much suffering and starvation.”