Pay a visit to Vancouver’s historic Chinatown and you are sure to see a few Lucky Cats — welcoming customers into businesses and also for sale.
Modelled after the original Japanese Maneki Neko (beckoning cat figure), the Chinese-style Lucky Cats tend to be colored gold –reflecting their goal of attracting money and good fortune.
They range in size and price (all the way up to super large $150 Lucky Cat).
If you look closely, you might even find a tiny Lucky Cat charm (there’s one for sale amid the trinkets below).
Of course, there are plenty of other interesting things to see and buy in Chinatown. Besides the restaurants, food, household items, etc, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden (below) is a tranquil oasis even on a rainy day.
If you’re searching for a Japanese-style Lucky Cat, you can find one right on the edge of Chinatown at Yokoyaya, a Japanese 100-yen-style store (associated with the Japanese Daiso chain) in the International Village (Tinseltown) Mall.
Everything in the store is $2 –even these Maneki Neko below (made in China for Daiso).
These popular and inexpensive Maneki Neko figures go fast, and each time I visit the store, the stock seems to be different, so you never know what you’ll find. The yellow, pink, and white beckoning cats and Darumas below, for example, were in the store one week and gone two weeks later.
Sometimes you can even find a beckoning Tanuki (a Japanese raccoon dog that, in folklore, is a shape-changing, sake-swilling trickster-like figure).
Sometimes you can find other Maneki Neko items like rubber stamps, tea cups, or this framed Maneki Neko:
So, if you feel the need of a little Maneki Neko luck in your life and can’t manage a trip to Japan any time soon, the nearest Chinatown may be the next best thing.