Nyan Nyan Ji, or Meow Meow Shrine, located in Northern Kyoto, is the place to go if you already worship your pet cat.
If you're a cat lover and you love to travel too, well, have we got some news for you. Amidst the hot springs and historic temples of the leafy landscapes in Northern Kyoto, rests Nyan Nyan Ji. If you're any good at Japanese, you'll know that translates literally to Meow Meow Shrine. Yes, my fellow cat people, Nyan Nyan Ji is a shrine solely dedicated to cats. The head monk of the shrine is, in fact, a cat as well. His name is Koyuki and a cuter cat priest has never existed. Travelers of all kinds come from far and wide to meet Koyuki and worship at the beautiful shrine.
According to her owners, Koyuki is a gentle and friendly cat—we're sure she's rather priestly as well—who loves being visited by her "worshippers." She's the third generation of feline monks to be worshipped at Nyan Nyan Ji. The owners revealed, "This temple was opened by painter Toru Kaya with the theme of this favorite cat." Toru Kaya is a pretty well-known shrine and temple painter. In addition to Koyuki, there are several other cat priests, including Waka (male), Chin (male), Aruji (male), Ren (female), Konatsu (female), and Chicchi (female). These cat priests are helped by their trusty assistants, who are also adorable cats.
If you're visiting the Meow Meow Shrine, you can stop by their quaint little cat cafe. Koyuki's owner stated, "Visitors who come to worship play with [the] cats and enjoy [our] cafe and cat art." If heading to a cat cafe in a cat shrine wasn't enough, you can even eat cat-themed food at the cafe. After grabbing a bite to eat, you can make another pitstop at the shrine's gift shop, where they have lots of cute cat-themed souvenirs for you to take home.
As per a visitor from Hong Kong who left a review on the shrine's official TripAdvisor page, Nyan Nyan Ji is the place to check out if you're a fan of cattos. They wrote: [Koyuki] has a gentle personality and loves to [be pet]. The interior decoration [and] furnishings are all beautiful. The cafe is open at all times and there is no entrance fee. Just order drinks and food here. And the food is good. But because of the shortage of staff, be patient. I visited on a day when the cafe just happened to feature a bunch of bands. They sang folk songs. It was very casual. Guess we know where we're visiting next summer. Who's joining us?