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At a glance

Formerly the capital of Kyushu, few relics now remain to attest to the city’s former greatness. Dazaifu is now known primarily for Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, its umegaemochi (a confectionary made with sweet rice flour), and Kyushu National Museum.

Getting there

By train…

Dazaifu Station on the Nishitetsu Tenjin-Omuta line (transfer at Futsukaichi)


Fire Matsuri & Usokae January, first weekend

Kyokusui-No-En March, first Sunday

Points of interest

Tourist Information Center has English maps and bicycles available to rent. On Tenjinsama-dori right before you pass under the torii to the shrine. For more information call 092-925- 5801.

Daizaifu Tenmangu Shrine is dedicated to the God of learning and calligraphy. Every year millions of students from all over Japan visit the shrine to pray for good luck on upcoming entrance examinations. It’s a great place for a day trip, and hosts a number of spectacular and traditional festivals throughout the year, particularly the Fire Festival in January and the Water Poetry Festival in March. In addition, the entrance to the Kyushu National Museum is accessible through the grounds of the Tenmangu.
Getting there… Exiting the station at Dazaifu, you’ll be hit by the smells and fanfare of Tenjinsama-dori, which you follow to the street to the shrine. Follow the crowds. Tel 092-922-8225

Komyozenji Temple is great to escape the crowds at Tenmangu. Built in the mid-13th century, it is famous for its karesansui no niwa (rock gardens). If this sounds like gravel and parking lots, gazing at the peaceful and picturesque garden and letting your mind wander is sure to change your perspective. It is especially dramatic in the fall during kouyou and in February when the ume blossom.
Getting there… Walk towards Tenmangu shrine from the train station and make a left just before entering the shrine complex.

Kyushu National Museum.  This is the fourth National Museum of Japan, with others in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara. The museum is as architecturally impressive from the outside as it is a treasure chest of history on the inside. http://www.kyuhaku.com/
Getting there… Accessible through the Tenmangu shrine complex.

Tenjinsama-dori is a charming shopping street that begins just outside Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station. The famous Omoshiroiichi (interesting market) is held there once a month in the summer and is full of bargains. From the station, its the road directly in front of you.