The oldest of three large Tenjin shrines in Japan, Hofu Tenmangu Shrine draws people facing tests and hoping to achieve academic success, since its resident god is all about learning.
The stairs up to the brightly-colored main shrine are a steep climb, but well worth the effort. Hofu Tenmangu has a calendar of regular yearly events to excite and engage, and is worth a visit.
Easily accessible by train.
From JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station, take the Sanyo Line to Hofu Station. Hofu Tenman-gu Shrine is a 15-minute walk or five- minute bus ride from there.
There are plenty of seasonal events at Hofu Tenman-gu Shrine. The plum blossom is the symbol of the god Tenjin, and you can see 1100 plum trees in full bloom here from mid-Febuary to early March.
From May 1-5, enjoy more than 1000 colorful potted flowers laid out on the steps to the shrine for the Happiness Festival.
Another event not to miss is Tanabata, the Star Festival, held from July 1-7 every year. See the colorful streamers and papers inscribed with wishes and dreams tied to bamboo poles before the shine. At night on July 7, enjoy the soft light from the lines of lanterns that illuminate the shrine.