Here’s a familiar saying: “In Ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped as gods; they have never forgotten this.” Certainly in Japan, cats are still given a huge amount of respect, with entire islands of moggies being given free roam to peacefully exist in their own little kitty ecosystem. Of course, things aren’t perfect, and stray and abandoned cats are a sad reality in Japan as much as they are in many other countries. But today we’re here to appreciate the happy cats of Gotanjo temple in Fukui Prefecture, who are lovingly tended to by Buddhist monks and fawned over by the adoring tourists who come to visit. You can even get a special kitty cat fortune and see what’s in store for the coming year!

Gotanjo Temple is so well-known for its plethora of feline residents, it’s now unofficially been dubbed “Kitty Temple” by visitors and local residents. The monks feed and care for the cats, who spend their days either lounging around on top of the omikuji (fortune) stands or trotting after the monks hoping for a tidbit.

▲ “Here I am at Gotanjo Temple, aka Kitty Temple!”

▲ “Pussycat feeding time at Gotanjo Temple!”

▲ “At Gotanjo Temple, in the snow! There’s many more moggies than I was expecting! They look a little chilly but still energetic!”

If you’d like to see the kitties in action, here’s an adorable video shot at the temple, where you can see the cheeky cats begging tourists for treats, snoozing on benches, and sniffing at the camera!

The sign on the omikuji stand invites patrons to reach around the snoozing cat to grab their fortune.

▲ “So many kitties at Gotanjo Temple!”

The fortunes themselves are kitty-themed!

▲ “My omikuji fortune from Gotanjo Temple! I got this tiny kitty with it!

If you’re in need of some extra special good luck for the coming year, or if you simply love to look at hordes of fluffy, contented kitties, then be sure to add a visit to Kitty Temple to your travel itinerary next time you come to Japan!

Image: Twitter (MY_0000_)