Though there are numerous tenmangū shrines spread across Japan, 大宰府天満宮 — Dazaifu Tenmangū Shrine is among the more significant ones.
“Tenmangu Shrines are dedicated to the spirit of Sugawara Michizane, a scholar and politician of the Heian Period. Because of his great learning, Michizane has been associated with Tenjin, a Shinto deity of education, and is popular among students.” [source]
It was believed that the spirit of Michizane caused calamities right after his death due to being sent into exile unjustly. Offerings were made to appease Michizane’s spirit thus, the tenmangu shrine traditions begun. The Tenmangu Shrine in Dazaifu was built on the site of Michizane’s grave.
This was our first stop as soon as we landed in Fukuoka. Luckily, it was very sunny as we were told that it was raining non-stop prior our arrival.
You can have your photo taken right before you reach the entrance! hai, chi-zu!
Before you get to the entrance, one has to cross a bridge across a heart shaped (Japanese character 心) pond.
“A path leads across two arched bridges and islands which represent the past, present and future.”
Torii Gate at the entrance
They say that if you touch the head of this Ox Statue and then touch your head — you will become more intelligent!
As you can see, a lot of people gather here to pray.
“The plum tree standing on the right of the main hall is the legendary tobiume (flying plum tree), which according to tradition flew from Kyototo Dazaifu to accompany Michizane into exile. Michizane was fond of plum trees, and plum trees are typically found at Tenmangu Shrines.”
Cleansing before praying is a must!
My favorite thing to do in every shrine! Last time I visited Japan, I left one saying “Praying that I can fly back to Japan soon” and here I am just 2 months after! It really works (?!) Nothing to lose!
A wide selection of lucky charms can be bought too!
Busy street with a lot of small shops on the way back to the bus.
Thanks for posing!
Probably one of the coolest Starbucks branches I’ve ever seen — so naturally, I had to take a photo, hehe.
Spotted this super kawaii girl in costume who was more than willing to pose for a snap!
Matcha and Ichigo ice cream before heading out to the next location!
This is my first time to travel with Japanese Travel Agency JTB — which is Asia’s No. 1 travel agent, with offices in 34 countries and regions worldwide! Good news is that THEY ARE NOW HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES!!! 🙂 They offer a lot of different tour packages — one of which is the HOKKAIDO PACKAGE for July (in case anyone is interested).
JTB Corporation (aka JTB), is the largest travel agency in Japan and one of the largest travel agencies in the world. It specializes in tourism. There are branches all over the world to help Japanese visitors, including both private and business travelers. It was formerly owned by the Japanese government. It is headquartered in the JTB Building in Shinagawa, Tokyo.
First location — check! Now onto, the next!