Japanese people have had a long relationship with cats. More than 1,000 years ago, people in the upper class were already living with cats. Common people also started having pet cats at home several hundred years ago and Japanese people have been involved with cats in a variety of ways since then. There are shrines that worship cats as gods across Japan and cats have also played a part in folk beliefs through the ages. Cats have been loved by Japanese people through the ages.
Yanaka in Tokyo is famous not only for its old world charm, but for its sizable population of friendly stray cats. Of all the sights to see in the cozy, old-fashioned neighborhood Yanaka, one stuck out to me the most: cats, cats everywhere.
Gallery Nekomachi 猫町 is an art space that only has cat-themed works on display. I felt that it was like a spot which would appear in the films of Ghibli. The 15-year old gallery itself is a pleasant place to visit, occupying an old house at the top of a steep set of stairs.
喜爱猫咪的东京 “谷中银座” 商店街，有很多以猫作为吉祥物的店铺，猫迷们走在街上，总会被那些真假猫们牵去了目光。
Located in the middle of residential area this gallery looked like an ordinary house but in front of this house you will notice objects in cat shape welcoming you.
Yanaka is known as the “Cats Town” and there are several spots that will make cat lovers go wild. I spent one lazy afternoon in Yanaka, and it was incredibly relaxing. The cats living there added to the view of the town. Yanaka has fully embraced this image by decorating the streets with sculptures of the friendly felines and setting up shops celebrating the cute, cuddly creatures. The reason why just so many cats have decided to make a home for themselves in Yanaka is largely unknown. One assumption is that the strays were attracted to the area’s high density of trees and temples. Businesses have long known about the area’s reputation as a cat sanctuary, and shops selling cat-themed desserts, knickknacks and souvenirs can be found all along Yanaka.