There is a unique museum showing a legend of a piety cat “Chu-gi na Neko Museum” in Yokote city, Akita, Japan. This place is located beside Hachiman Shrine and Asamai Park, where visitors can enjoy beautiful iris flowers and nature around the end of June. Check them out!
What is the piety cat? It dates back to 1895 (Meiji Period of Japanese history). At that time, there was a charitable man named ISE Taemon who helped local people by giving them rice during the poor harvest season. He kept rice in storage, but a lot of mice came out and ate the precious food. It bothered him, then, his pet cat “Nike” intimidated them to chase those mice outside! What a piety cat! Actually, Nike had been a guard for about 10 years until she died at the age of 13. Her loyal behavior moved and impressed people, and the legend has been passed down until today through building her monument.
In the museum, there still remains the monument. Also, there are exhibits of Nike as well as lucky charms and an altar. If you want to buy lucky charms there, please put money into the offering box in front of the altar.
Visitors put their pet cats’ photos on the wall to pray for their health. I think this is great because our pet animals are not just a pet but a family member!
You should also visit this website and find cute cat-shaped cookies made by Okashi no Kagaya (sweets shop).
Just beside this museum, there are Hachiman Shrine and Asamai Park that are suitable for taking a walk on sunny days! That’s so relaxing! As mentioned before, its iris blooms beautifully in June.
Around this area, there are some popular sightseeing spots such as Masuda Manga Museum and Kamakura Museum (about 15 minutes by car). Please visit our blog to explore what’s so popular in these places. I hope you like them, too!
Speaking of sightseeing, Akita Kanto Festival in summer or Namahage in Oga city are especially famous. We hope this “Chu-gi na Neko (Piety Cat) Museum” will be one of those popular sightseeing attractions of Akita, Tohoku, Japan!
~~~ Info ~~~
Chu-gi na Neko (Piety Cat) Museum
135-4 Kami gatsugi numa, Asamai, Hiraka town, Yokote city, Akita, Japan
*Closed due to circumstances.
＊From Yokote station: About 20 minutes by car・taxi / From Daigo station: About 5 minutes by car・taxi / From Jumonji station: About 10 minutes by car・taxi
＊Akita Shinkansen (bullet train)・JR Ou Line：From Tokyo Station ～ Omagari Station ～ Yokote Station (About 3 hours 40 minutes) → From Yokote station: About 20 minutes by car・taxi / From Daigo station: About 5 minutes by car・taxi / From Jumonji station: About 10 minutes by car・taxi
＊Tohoku Expressway「Kitakami IC」～ Akita Expressway「Yokote IC」(About 50 minutes) →About 10 minutes by car from Yokote IC
＊From Akita Airport：By car・taxi (About 1 hour) ／ By car・taxi to JR Wada Station（About 8 minutes）or By limousine bus to JR Akita Station（About 40 minutes）～ JR Ou Line ”Yokote Station”（About 1 hour 20 minutes）→ From Yokote station: About 20 minutes by car・taxi / From Daigo station: About 5 minutes by car・taxi / From Jumonji station: About 10 minutes by car・taxi
Written by Naomi in Ugo
*As of September, 2022.