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“Plum Blossoms at Dazaifu Shrine - A Must-See!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
4-7-1 Saifu, Dazaifu 818-0017, Fukuoka Prefecture
+81 92-922-8225
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Ranked #1 of 11 Attractions in Dazaifu
4.0 of 5 stars 518 Reviews
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
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Owner description: 16th century shrine, popular with students praying for acdemci success; colorful flea-market.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Plum Blossoms at Dazaifu Shrine - A Must-See!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

Dazaifu shrine is well known for plum blossoms. They bloom from mid-February to early March. There are 6,000 plum trees on the grounds of the shrine. When they are in full bloom, they are gorgeous.

Plum trees were introduced from China (Tang Dynasty) to Japan in the 8th century, and they became the favorite of many Japanese artists - there are many ancient poems about plum blossoms written in the 8-9 centuries - many of them were written in Dazaifu by famous ancient poets.

I visited Dazaifu in late February of 2011; they were only about 10-20% in bloom. In other years they are in full bloom by late February. It varies from year to year. I don't know of good source in English for the information. Dazaifu shrine has an official website in English and other non-Japanese languages (http://www.dazaifutenmangu.or.jp/en), but it does not offer info of when the plum trees will be in full bloom - I wish they improve their website. You may want to ask your Japanese friends or acquaintances.

There are several rest houses on the grounds and many places to eat on the approach to the shrine. There are not many signs in English, but they have pretty good pages in English, PDF brochures and maps in English in their webiste (URL above)

Dazaifu gets extremely crowded on New Year (Jan 1 - Jan 3), but in February it's not too bad.

There is a very good hot spring, Futsukaichi Onsen, very close to Dazaifu. You may want to combine your visit to Dazaifu with a stay in Futsukaichi hot spring.

For more details and more photos, please check out:

Visited November 2011
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518 reviews from our community

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Honolulu, Hawaii
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Very popular destination for Japanese”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2011

Six million visitors come to this shrine each year. If you are a student, you might want to pray for good grades.

Our suggestion is to visit Komyozenji Temple before this shrine.

Near the entrance to Tenmangu is an arching bridge. Young children are told to be careful going over, lest they slip and fall.

After visiting the shrine, check out the nearby shops. Be sure to stop at one and sample ume ga mochi, a Dazaifu specialty.

Visited November 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
578 reviews 578 reviews
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503 helpful votes 503 helpful votes
“Great side trip and worth the time....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2011

We found it confusing to find the right track number on the private (Tenjin) line to Dazaifu Station. So we were given a day out leaflet in English for Dazaifu at the fare adjustment window on entering the station (you can also get one at any Visitor’s Information Centre).

The attendant told us which service and track to take as the electronic boards were in Japanese only.
The Limited Express service gets you there the quickest and this private company is the most convenient (not JR as there is quite a distance between the transfer station).
As with all private lines for visitors, it seems expensive after using a JR rail pass.

Access to the shrine from the station is up a long avenue of tourist and restaurant shops.
Before getting to the main shrine we walked through a ‘torii’ gate and then walked over a lovely stone bridge with red painted woodwork. This water feature had the usual large Koi, turtles and water birds. There are many plum trees that would be spectacular in bloom and even when we visited they looked stunning in the surrounding gardens.

This shrine is popular; particularly for young students at entrance exam time.
As it was a festival day, services were taking place with many people at the shrine.
Surrounding it are many kiosks selling hundreds of good luck charms and a few were in English.

Away from the main shrine are interesting stone gardens and other smaller, wooden shrines.
Our visit was on a festival day so we had visitors, worshipers, entertainment (Taiko drummers of all ages) and it was wonderful to see them drumming with such energy!
The whole area was buzzing with a cheerful atmosphere because of this festival.

Back near the tourist shops it was crowded and most stores were doing a brisk business.
The food here is somewhat expensive and not many prices are posted on the ‘plastic food plate’ menus out the front nor are there any English menus to be had.
So we were rather surprised at the high cost of a simple noodle meal here when given the bill!

In any case it is a beautiful complex close to Fukuoka for a perfect side trip and was worth a little extra of our time.

Enjoy your visit!

Visited September 2011
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Nerja, Spain
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2009

if you are in Fukuoka and have an afternoon free, take the subway train to Dazaifu, the Nishitetsu Tenjin Omuta line, half an hour. The shrine area is just 5 minutes walk from the station, the main street leads you there. The shrine and the temples, the buildings and also all the plum trees and the very old camphor trees, (1500 years), are beautiful and impressive. It is said that there are about 6000 plum trees in the area, Sugawara Michizane's favourite tree.

Be aware that this an active place of worship, not a museum. As a foreigner, walk with cautiousness and respect. For example do not have your picknick outside the little shrine with teddy bears and dolls, dedicated to the memory of dead children.

There are no park areas for picknicks, but there are benches and quiet, calm spots, also restaurants and places that sell drinks and food inside the area. Some of the gardens are charming.

The main street leading to the shrine area have many shops, tourist orientated of course, but I did find some things there which I did not find in for example Tenjin, some beautiful cheramics, t-shirts with kanji signs etc. The famous umegaimochi, a plum filled sweet rice ball is cooked everywhere, most people like these, but I was more happy with a cold beer and some cold noodles and tempura, but that is my taste... Even in full tourist season Dazaifu is calm and relaxed, there are not many places where even the souvenir shops are cool and have a certain dignity, I liked it very much.

Near is the Kyushu National Museum.

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