Enjoy plum blossoms at Dazaifu Shrine
Dazaifu reminds me a lot of Asakusa in Tokyo--the paths to the shrines are both lined with interesting souvenir and delicacy shops that are a stringent test to one's will to control his spending. Crowds throng Dazaifu just like how they surge through Asakusa; the good thing is that the festive atomsphere at Dazaifu won't overwhelm you as there is still plenty of space to navigate around.
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine was built to commemorate Michizane Sugawara, otherwise known as the 'god of learning'. This explains why thousands of junior high and high school Japanese students pray here in December and January--the months leading up to the all-important entrance examinations--for a successful admission to their choice school. However, if you have a choice, I will recommend that you visit Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in early March because this is when the plum blossoms bloom and their proud display in all sorts of shades of white and pink is a dazzling sight to behold.
Fukuoka Tower, at 234 meters, is the tallest building in Fukuoka. Making it stand out even more is the fact that it sits separate from the main downtown area by a mile or two.
There is an Observation Deck 123 meters above the ground, along with a cafe. Cost is 800 Yen for adults and 500 Yen for students, unless it's your birthday then entrance is free.
The tower was completed in 1989 and designed to withstand earthquakes reaching 7 on the Richter scale. Fukuoka has come close with a magnitude 6 earthquake in its past.Related to:
About 1300 years ago, in Dazaifu, there was a government office to manage the entire Kyushu for a long period of 500 years at the present Dazaifu.
There are numbers of historical sites which reflect to the ancient history of Dazaifu, including ruins of the Dazaifu itself, ruins of Mizuki, ruins of Onojo, Kanzeonji Temple, ruins of Chikuzen Kokubunji Temple and Dazaifu Tenkangu Shrine.
Futsukaichi Onsen is a hot spring located near Hakata; it takes only 20 minutes by JR local train from Hakata Station.
The hot spring has about 1300 year’s history and there are public baths that you can take without staying a hotel.
There are following tourist attractions near Futikaichi Onsen.
- Buzou-ji temple
- Mt. Tenpeizan
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Buzo-ji is a temple of Tendai sect located in Futsukaichi, and is the oldest temple in Kyushu region and it designated as historic site of cultural asset by Fukuoka-ken.
The wisteria in the temple has a long history which is designated a Natural monument of Chikushino city.
The founder of the temple, Toramaro Fujiwara, who was said a same person, Sagano Musashi, of first Governor in Kyushu ancient time, planted the wisteria tree called as Fuji in Japanese, to much up with his own name, Fuji about 1300 years ago.
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Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is sacred to the memory of Michzane Sugawara, also known as the "god of learning".
In 901, Michzane was suddenly demoted from his position as Minister of Right and sent to work at the Dazaifu, where he died two years later.
Tenmangu Shrine was built on the site of his grave.
The main hall, as it stand today, was constructed in 1591 and registered as Important Cultural Property.
Within the Shrine nature precinct are many plum trees, camphor tree, and irises, which provide nature beauty in every season of year.
Tenmangu's history is recalled by events such as the New Years Exorcism Fire Festival (Oni-sube), Kyokusui-no-en (Spring Water Poetry Festival), and Jinko-shiki (Annual God-Procession Festival) which takes place in the Autumn
[Back to Fukuoka-ken]Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Off the beaten path
Fukuoka is a clean city with a lot of hidden beauty. It's not all sleazy nightlife, tall buildings, and ancient castles. During my time in the city I wandered all over and probably saw more than many locals do in a year. During my short, less than 24 hour visit, I walked the following:
From the main train station to Nakasu, then to Tenjin Center, where I spent the night (1.6 miles/2.5 km)
The next day, from Tenjin Center to Fukuoka Castle, Ohori Park, Fukuoka Tower, then Momochi Beach where I stopped for lunch (4.4 miles/7.1 km).
Then all the way back to Tenjin Center and Nakasu, where I caught the subway back to the airport (about 3.6 miles/5.8 km).
During all this walking, I found numerous little parks, scenic view points, quiet spots along the water, beautiful buildings, and tranquil residential areas that I enjoyed.
Fukuoka's Momochi Beach
Momochi Beach is an ideal spot to munch on some sushi and enjoy the wind and the waves. During week days, this is a quiet spot with few people.
This man-made beach, directly in front of the Fukuoka Tower, is about 1 km long. It is protected by seawalls and breakwaters, and the city has three other similar beaches adjacent to this one.
Stuck in the center of the beach is a diamond-shaped pier called Maruzon with shops and a ferry terminal. I did not venture out onto the pier as it looked awful touristy.Related to:
Ohori Park (Ohori Koen)
Wander around the edge of the Ohori Park south of the castle which has a beautiful lake, with a nice white bridge leading to the islands in the center. The lake has a circumference of about 2km with a path all the way around. This is considered one of Japan's finest parks and is said to be a near imitation of a Chinese park called Xi Hu (West Lake) located in Hangzhou. There are also theaters, museums, and embassies in the area.
It was created in 1929 from part of the moat of the Fukuoka Castle, and is a very quick stroll from the castle.
The Fukuoka Castle ruins have impressive walls and moats, but the inside has modern sports facilities taking away from the aura. From the tower at the southern end of the castle, you have a great view of the surrounding city.
During my visit, there were dozens of Japanese painting different scenes of the castle, its walls, and the surrounding vegetation.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
New Year in Dazaifu Shrine
Dazaifu Shrine is one of the most popular shrines in Japan. It was built in 903 over the grave of Michizane Sugawara, who is now considered as a god of litereture or caligraphy. On each new year's day, millions of people come to wish the success of the new year. Also this shrine is a famous place for students or schoalars to prey for their success. It was told that Michizane Sugawara was one of the most diligent and brilliant man at that time.
A short drive from Fukuoka is the town of Beppu, famous for its hot springs. Book into a hotel and relax in the Japanese style baths, heated by the springs. But note, often the baths are communal so you will normally be sharing with the other hotel occupantsRelated to:
- Road Trip
- Spa and Resort
I really relaxed to stay in this hotel. This hotel is typically authentic one. Westren style hotel...more
Upon recommendation from fellow VT'er Masa (gogonicetrip), I booked a room here. I found the rooms...more
900 Higashikushiharamachi, Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, 830-0003, Japan
Good for: Couples
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