Maneki Neko

Japan day 3

Woke up in the middle of the night like yesterday, but remembered that I had brought some melatonin pills, took one, and fell asleep once more. For technical reasons it took some time figuring out the transport to my next destination, but with that out of the way I headed off to Gotoku-Ji Temple, which I had seen in the avant-garde film “Sans Soleil”. Legend has it that a prosperous man was walking near the shrine and a cat beckoned him to come to the temple and seconds later a lightning struck behind him. Having been saved by the cat he paid for the renovation of the temple and had a cat shrine built. I’m paraphrasing slightly, but you get the idea. Outside said shrine thousands of beckoning cats, maneki neko, are now found and you can place your own to have your prayers fulfilled. 

I grabbed a quick rice pilaf on my way to the tram and headed to the National Art Center which had an exhibition of Austrian art. I came mostly for the Gustav Klimt section, whose paintings and portraits was captivating and had the usual hints of mythological and dark undertones.

For dinner it was another quick meal to go, so that I could make it to yet another art museum, this time being the “National Museum of Modern Art” or MoMAT, which was located at the same premises as the Imperial Palace, walled off and surrounded by a moat separating it from the much more modern skyscrapers in the vicinity.  It housed a nice collection and often juxtaposed Japanese artists following the traditional styles and those inspired by western painters. You had more or less all the major European art movements represented here in Japan as well. They also had a Cezanne. Nice. 

Bought a train ticket for tomorrow and then packed up my stuff for tomorrow as the day was almost over. 

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