Destinations Magazine

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

By Wanderingjoshua

I was looking for a place to visit during my visit to Fukuoka; I stumbled upon Dazaifu when I researched about attractions near the city. It has centuries of history that is worth discovering and exploring.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History
Dazaifu was established in the 7th century and was Kyushu's administrative center for more than five centuries. Dazaifu played an important role for the country's diplomacy and organizing its defense. Fast forward to today, it is now a quiet and small city just outside of Fukuoka. It's the ideal day trip for those who visit this part of Japan.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

I was fortunate enough to visit Dazaifu in Autumn, for me this season is perfect, because it isn't too cold and the colors are simply beautiful. Many trees turn from their usual green to a fiery red or sun-colored orange.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

One of the attractions of Dazaifu is Komyozenji; it is a zen temple of the Rinzai sect of Japan's version of Buddhism. It's founding dates back to Kamakura Period (1192-1333). Its main draws are the two gardens, one in the front and the other in the rear.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

There are several Tenmangu Shrines in different parts of Japan, Dazaifu's is one of the most important along with Kyoto's Kitano Tenmangu. These shrines are dedicated to the Heian Period politician and scholar Sugawara Michizane. The latter is popular with students because of his association to Tenjin (a deity of education). Michizane was a talented politician and gained much influence in the imperial court. However, his rise led to rivalries between him and the Fujiwara. This led to Michizane's exile and eventual death a few years later in Dazaifu. The Tenmangu Shrine was built on the location of his grave.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

There were cute kids dressed in traditional garb when I was walking around the shrine complex.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

There was also a ceremony taking place during my visit.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

I was surprised to see a group of school children lining up by the shrine. I asked one of the locals what was the occasion, the reply was that sumo wrestlers were in town.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

It was awesome to see sumo wrestlers, but I wasn't able to see any of the matches during my time there, maybe for another trip.

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

A lot of locals walk around the complex wearing kimonos, maybe they just want to relive the past or just look good for the photos they take?

Centuries of History in Dazaifu

I tried local food while I was in Dazaifu, this one is called umegaemoti.

I enjoyed this old city; it gave me a sense of the past.

How to Get to Dazaifu
The main attractions of the old city are within a kilometer and a half of Dazaifu Station. It's easy to explore the main tourist spots on foot.

You have options when it comes to transportation to Dazaifu, these include:

Nishitetsu Railway

From Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station, board a train bound for Nishitetsu Futsukaichi Station. From the latter, transfer trains to the Dazaifu Line, then board one heading to Dazaifu Station.The whole trip takes around 40 minutes and costs Y400.


There are buses that connect Hakata Station with Dazaifu. The ride takes around 45 minutes and costs Y600.


Board a JR Kagoshima Line train from Hakata bound for JR Futsukaichi Station. Once at the station, walk to the Nishitetsu Futsukaichi Station, where you can board a Dazaifu Line train bound for Dazaifu Station. The whole trip may last around 40 minutes to an hour and costs Y430.

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