Photo by Jonas Hjortdal
You’ve seen them waving their little paws in window displays throughout the city, from Asian shops to hip boutiques: ‘Chinese Lucky Cats’, as they’re commonly (and erroneously) called, have become the ultimate cool-kitsch. Yet the colorful ceramic sculptures, actually called Maneki Neko and said to bring good luck to their owners, aren’t Chinese: they come from Japan.
So where to get your own lucky feline? You can always find the knock-off version for €5 on eBay, but for the real deal, head to Enishi in Prenzlauer Berg, a Japanese café and antique shop that opened in November 2010 on Pappelallee. Owner Maki Kawatsura imports most of her stock straight from Japan via her mom, who’s been an antique handler for over 30 years.
Everything in the shop is Japanese-made, with prices ranging from €20 for dishware made by a Japanese ceramicist living in Berlin to €500 for an antique Japanese shoji screen. While browsing the collection, you can enjoy green tea macchiato or Japanese pudding from the tiny-but-affordable in-house café (items from €2). At €380, the real-deal Maneki Neko might seem a bit expensive, but can you really but a price on authentic Japanese good luck?