After moving to northern California, many things changed. Not only are there dozens of Japanese restaurants sporting maneko neko (welcome cats), but they are sold in many shops, not the least of which is the Daiso Japan. I thought that my days of being able to see their paws beckoning me to enter were over, but they are just somewhat fewer and far between.
That being said, most of the maneki neko my husband and I see here are not as large, attractively designed, or creative as the ones we saw in Tokyo. Many of them are sad looking or just plain tacky. Still, I can't honestly say I "miss" them, since I see them pretty often even here in the U.S. I'm guessing I couldn't say that if I lived in another region, but they are hardly rare where I am living now.