Imado Shrine: Asakusa’s Cat Shrine Delivers Matchmaking Blessings and Adorable Feline Good Luck Charms!

Imado Shrine (Imado Jinja in Japanese) enshrines Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, the deities of marriage. The shrine is said to provide blessings for finding a good relationship match and marital harmony.

Imado Shrine is also famous for its maneki-neko (beckoning cat) motifs. These feline figures and statues are thought to summon good fortune. So, from the shrine’s sacred items (lucky charms, ema votive plaques and the like) to fortune slips, everything is cat-themed!

Goshuin, ema, and omamori at Imado Shrine

Giant beckoning cats welcome worshippers to Imado Shrine

You can spot beckoning cat figures all over the shrine grounds at Imado Shrine.

The grounds at Imado Shrine

Two small beckoning cats can also be seen at the shrine’s water purification pavilion, where visitors cleanse their hands and mouths before praying.

At the main shrine hall housing the deities, large beckoning cat statues welcome those who come to pay their respects. The two cat statues are affectionately nicknamed Nagi-chan and Nami-chan, after Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto.

Beckoning cats displayed at Imado Shrine

Nagi-chan (left), Nami-chan (right)

The proper way to pray at Imado Shrine is two bows, two hand claps, then one bow – first make two deep bows facing the deities, then put your hands together at chest level and clap twice, finishing with one deep bow.

Since the shrine is well-known for blessings related to relationships, people naturally come wishing for a good romantic connection.

So be sure to sincerely convey to the gods your wishes for good relationships, whether they are personal connections or work-related ties.

The main shrine building at Imado Shrine

Imado Shrine’s main shrine building

If you change your smartphone wallpaper to the stone cat statues, you may find good luck

Located right next to the shrine’s main hall are stone statues of Nagi-chan and Nami-chan, known as the “Stone Petting Cats.” It’s said that petting them can bring blessings!


The Stone Petting Cats

There’s even a rumor that making one of the stone cats your phone’s wallpaper can help make your wish come true.

After hearing that, you won’t want to leave without taking some photos. Just remember to set one as your new wallpaper!

The Stone Petting cats at Imado Shrine, said to bring look when petted

Count your blessings if you meet her! Nami-chan, the white cat who might bring you good luck

A white cat named Nami-chan sometimes appears at Imado Shrine.

At the time of our visit, weather was very nice, so we were fortunate enough to find Nami-chan sunbathing on the shrine grounds. Her pure white fur was the spitting image of the Nami-chan beckoning cat figure.


Nami-chan, the white cat who sometimes appears at Imado Shrine

Just watching the adorable Nami-chan felt purifying. As a stray cat, there’s no telling when she’ll show up, but encountering her is considered very lucky.

Even Imado Shrine’s goshuin seals feature cats!

The goshuin shrine seals you can receive as proof of visiting also incorporate beckoning cats!

At Imado Shrine, you can receive goshuin seals from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the issuing booth to the right of the main hall.

Goshuin at Imado Shrine

Goshuin 500 JPY

Imado Shrine offers three different colors of goshuinchō booklets for collecting goshuin seals – blue, pink, and light blue – all featuring Nagi-chan and Nami-chan, the symbols of Imado Shrine.


Goshuincho 1,500 JPY

Displaying the goshuin you receive from the shrine at home and making daily prayers to it is also said to be beneficial.

Cherishing that connection with the deities may bring wonderful relationships into your life!

Imado Shrine’s omamori protection amulets and ema votive tablets are adorably cat themed!

In addition to the goshuin seals and booklets, Imado Shrine’s protective charms, fortune slips, and ema votive tablets are all cat-themed as well.

Befitting the shrine’s association with romantic relationships, the omikuji fortune slips relate to love, including details like the blood type, zodiac sign, and age range of a potential romantic partner.


Koikatsu-mikuji (omikuji fortune slip for triumphant love) 200 JPY

There are three different romantic omamori amulets, with the most eye-catching being the ones designed as beckoning cats! So fitting for a shrine associated with the feline figure and cute enough to want to attach to your bag.


En-musubi omamori protective amulet (omamori for good relationships) 800 JPY

The ema votive tablets are available in two varieties – one for making wishes, and another for celebrating wishes fulfilled.

Rather than the typical pentagonal shape, Imado Shrine’s tablets are round, playing on the wordplay of “en” meaning both “circle” and “relationship/connection” in Japanese.

The round shape is also said to represent things proceeding smoothly without any “corners” or difficulties.

Two types of ema votive tablets at Imado Shrine

Tablet for making wishes (left), tablet for celebrating fulfilled wishes (right)

Other small touches include the design of a tied knot along the edge of the wish ema, symbolizing relationship ties. Writing your wish on one of these tablets really makes you feel it will come true.

The reason behind the shrine’s association with beckoning cats

The reason Imado Shrine has ties to the beckoning cat stems from an old local legend.

Once there was an elderly pottery maker from Imado, where the shrine is located. Impoverished, she had to give up her beloved cat. The story goes that the cat then appeared in the woman’s dream, telling her:

“Please make a figurine of me in a beckoning pose.”

Following the cat’s instructions, the woman made beckoning cat figurines from Imado pottery and sold them, bringing her great prosperity that allowed her to be reunited with her cat.

Imado Shrine, famous for beckoning cats

Because of its strong beckoning cat connections, those involved with cat-related television dramas, anime, manga, and theater often visit Imado Shrine to pray for success.

The grounds display many beckoning cat figures and tablets that were donated by such visitors after having their wishes granted.

Praying for the success of anime and movies related to cats

Arrive by rickshaw for the full experience

Imado Shrine is about a 15-minute walk from Asakusa Station. One popular way for visitors to arrive is by rickshaw, which are commonly found operating in the area.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to enjoy a pleasant stroll along the Sumida River from Asakusa for an atmospheric approach.

On a clear day, you’ll be able to visit in a calm, relaxed state of mind, surrounded by the many beckoning cat figures – the perfect atmosphere for making your relationship wishes.


Shrine Information

名前 今戸神社
Imado Shrine
Address 1-5-22 Imado, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access Asakusa Station 14-minute walk from Exit 5
  • Toei Asakusa Line(A18)
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza Line(G19)
  • Tobu Skytree Line(TS01)

  • Asakusa Station 19-minute walk from Exit A1
    • Tsukuba Express(TX03)
Phone number 03-3872-2703
Visiting hours 24 hours
Sacred items Available from 9:00-16:00
Goshuin Available from 9:00-16:00
Omikuji Available from 9:00-16:00
Admission fee Free
Official website
Other information
  • Signboards are available with Japanese and English language
  • Wheelchair-accessible areas are not available
  • Restrooms are not available
  • Bringing in luggage is allowed
  • There are no areas where photography is not allowed
  • There are no areas where you must remove your shoes

※The information in this article is current as of April 2024.