Tokyo: Tokyo's Gotokuji temple has long attracted spiritual visitors with its thousands of figurines of beckoning white cats that are said to bring good luck. But of late it has brought in another breed of visitors: Instagrammers.

Around 10000 figurines of white cats seated with one paw raised are stacked and strewn around the temple, providing tempting content for social media connoisseurs from Japan and abroad.

"I actually Googled 'Instagram spots Tokyo. This was named one of the most 'Instagrammable spots," said Emily Lin, a 25-year-old tourist from Hong Kong.
"These cats are a symbol of luck in the Japanese culture," she added, looking for new angles to capture the copious cats.

Ying-Chi Hsueh, 31, a photography student from Taiwan, also said that he had been drawn to the temple by the photogenic felines. "I saw a picture on Instagram and I came here using Google Maps," he said.

They were among dozens of visitors there the week before International Cat Day on August 8, snapping shots of the temple's ‘maneki-neko’ or ‘beckoning cat’ figurines.

"The maneki-neko gives you the chance to appreciate what you have, the people you meet," said Gotokuji's deputy priest Tessai Kasukawa. "Now with the Tokyo Olympics coming up in 2020, we receive many international visitors. They spread the word about the temple, making this place globally famous," Tessai said.