Dazaifu is a city located in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, part of the greater Fukuoka metropolitan area. The city was founded in 1982 and has been important historically for more than a thousand years. It was the administrative capital of Fukuoka and was pivotal for Japan’s diplomatic relations and organizing the country’s defences. Nowadays, Dazaifu is a small, quiet city on the outskirts of the large city of Fukuoka, from which it is perfect for a day trip.
Tenmangu Shrines are dedicated to the spirit of Sugawara Michizane, a scholar and politician of the Heian Period. Therefore, Tenmangu Shrine enjoys great popularity among students especially during the entrance exam season, when enormous amounts of ema charms can be seen hanging on the shrine grounds. The shrine is rather large, stretching about 250 meters from one end to the other. The shrine grounds also contain two ponds, a bridge and a treasure house.
Activities: Shrine visit Fee: None Time required: 1 hour
Komyozenji Temple is a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect of Japanese Buddhism. Komyozenji's main attraction is its beautiful Japanese gardens. The temple has two abstract rock gardens that visitors can admire, a front garden and a rear garden. The garden's moss patches, rocks and pebbles are laid out as an abstract representation of large land and water bodies. Branches of maple trees hang over the garden and make the temple a popular autumn leaf spot around mid-November. (Image via Japan Travel)
Activities: Temple visit Fee: JPY 500 Time required: 40 minutes
Kyushu National Museum
Dazaifu's Kyushu National Museum bases its exhibits on the concept of "Understanding Japanese culture from an Asian point of view". The museum building itself is a massive blue construction that resembles a sports stadium more than an exhibition space. The museum has an impressive collection of artefacts that are presented in both a creative and informative fashion. There are also several small theatres displaying short movies, one of which uses impressive super-high-definition technology.
Activities: Museum visit Fee: JPY 700 Time required: 1 hour
30-minutes drive from Dazaifu is the Tenjin Underground Shopping Center (Tenjin Chikagai) which runs 590 meters north to south and has about 150 different shops. Apparel, general goods, cosmetics, and cafes can all be found in this underground shopping space which makes it a perfect place to shop no matter what the weather outside is like.