Dazaifu is a small and peaceful city in Fukuoka prefecture with a lot to offer visitors. Its close proximity to Fukuoka city makes it a convenient day trip from the hustle and bustle, whilst offering a glimpse at a more traditional Japanese town.
Home of Dazaifu Tenmangu
Once the administrative centre of Kyushu, Dazaifu is still home to many important shrines and temples. The most famous of these is Dazaifu Tenmangu, which is particularly popular with students praying for academic success.
The street from Dazaifu station to the shrine is lined with souvenir shops, making it a great place to purchase gifts. And don’t miss the opportunity to try some freshly grilled umegae mochi, a delicious local specialty best enjoyed hot.
This traditional treat is a sweet dumpling filled red bean paste covered in rice cake.
The Kyushu National Museum, which opened in 2005, is also located in the area and is well worth a visit. It focuses on “understanding the formation of Japanese culture from an Asian perspective”, and houses an impressive number of exhibits.
For those who are keen hikers, a trip to Dazaifu wouldn’t be complete without tackling Mount Homan. At 829 meters high it presents a challenging but rewarding climb, with hundreds of stone steps leading you to absolutely stunning views from the summit.
Mount Homan’s main trail is a popular one and can get busy on weekends and holidays, so plan your trip accordingly if you prefer to avoid the crowds. The hike takes approximately 4-5 hours to complete.