Dazaifu Area

Fukuoka, Kyushu

A city famous for Tenman-gu, a shrine, dedicated to great scholars. The Kyushu National Museum was awarded three Michelin stars.

Dazaifu City, situated in central Fukuoka, is where "Dazaifu," the regional government for the entire Kyushu region, was established approximately 1,300 years ago. The city, together with Mt. Homan-zan and Mt. Sangun-san behind it, is part of the Dazaifu Prefectural Natural Park. The city abounds in historical sites reminiscent of the prosperity of Dazaifu in the old days. It is now a tourist spot representative of Fukuoka.

Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine enshrines Sugawara Michizane (845-903) as the god of academic achievement. During the entrance examination season each year, young people from all parts of Japan preparing for these examinations and their parents come to the shrine to pray for success in the examination or academic achievement. The approach to the shrine is lined with teahouses selling 'umegae-mochi,' a local specialty rice-cake that is believed to ward off illness. The shrine is famous for its plum trees. The 'Tobi-ume' (flying plum) trees, which, according to legend, flew to Dazaifu from Kyoto after Sugawara Michizane, come into bloom earlier than other plum trees every year. The Houmotsu-den, a treasure house containing cultural properties of the national treasure class, is also located on the premises.

One hundred ceremonies are conducted at the shrine each year. These ceremonies include Onisube, Usokae, and, the most important ceremony at this shrine, Jinkoshiki-taisai (Grand Festival). Among them is the Onobori ceremony, which has been designated a National Intangible Property. In October 2005, Japan's fourth national museum, the Kyushu National Museum, opened near the shrine. Based on the unique concept of "understanding the formation of Japanese culture from an Asian historical perspective," various exhibitions have been held. The museum has received three stars from the world-famous Michelin guidebook.


From Tokyo:
[Air] 1h 45 min from Haneda to Fukuoka Airport, and 5 min from the airport to Hakata Station by subway.
[Rail] 4h 50 min from Tokyo to Hakata Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and 30 min from Hakata via Tenjin (subway) and Fukuoka (Nishitetsu Line) to Dazaifu Station.
From Osaka:
[Air] 1h 15 min from Itami to Fukuoka Airport.
[Rail] 2h 20 min from Shin-Osaka to Hakata Station by Shinkansen.

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