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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Dazaifu 太宰府

Impressive historical sites in Kyushu's ancient administrative capital

Established as Kyushu's capital during the 7th century, the city of Dazaifu is one of Fukuoka Prefecture's best-known destinations. It flourished as a center of government and commerce with mainland Asia for centuries.

Don't Miss

  • Dazaifu Tenmangu, one of Fukuoka's most celebrated shrines
  • The shrine's historical tour map leads you through ancient Dazaifu
  • Taking a hike up sacred Mt. Homan

Quick Facts

Dazaifu was once known as the “Western Capital”

The city was also Kyushu's most important Buddhist center

How to Get There

Dazaifu is easily accessible by train from downtown Fukuoka.

Take the Nishitetsu Line from Fukuoka Tenjin Station to Dazaifu Station, changing at Futsukaichi. The train takes about 30 minutes.

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Dazaifu's most famous shrine is dedicated to Tenjin, the deified form of the 9th-century poet-scholar Michizane Sugawara. Originally tied to natural disasters and the plague, Tenjin came to be regarded as a god of education. Students still pour into Dazaifu Tenmangu around exam time to pray for success.

The street leading to the shrine is lined with shops selling umegae mochi, a local specialty of fried mochi rice cakes filled with sweet red-bean jam. Ice cream stands sell only-in-Japan flavors like green tea and black sesame, and there are numerous shops selling souvenirs and knick-knacks.

A sea of Sugawara's favorite blooms

The shrine and its grounds are magnificent any time of year, but they really come alive in early March when over 6,000 plum trees burst into bloom. The already lovely temple gardens turn into a sea of pink and white. Some of Sugiwara's most famous poems feature plum trees, hence their prominent presence at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine .

Kyushu National Museum

You can reach the Kyushu National Museum on the other side of the shrine compound with a pleasant walk through the grounds. The museum hosts periodic special exhibits alongside a permanent exhibition that explores the history of Kyushu and Dazaifu. In particular, the museum delves into the area's historic ties to the Asian continent.

Other historical attractions

There are numerous other historical attractions throughout the city. Kanzeon-ji Temple is an important historic Buddhist site with amazing ancient statuary preserved in its treasure house. Atmospheric Kamado Shrine at the foot of Mt. Homan is also well worth a visit.

The information center at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine offers free maps that describe a historical tour through Dazaifu, as does Dazaifu's popular app.

Hike up and around a sacred peak

For those looking to get out of town for a while, the hike up Mt. Homan is well worth the effort. The well-maintained trail starts from Kamado Shrine, and the hike takes about two and a half hours to the top for those of average fitness. You'll be rewarded with views across Dazaifu and Fukuoka , and the chance to visit Kamado's mountaintop shrine.

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