MARCH 13, 2020
At Tenjin Station, we bought the Dazaifu and Yanagawa One-Day Sightseeing Ticket Pack (¥3,080). This was a good purchase because you can either choose the route:
- Tenjin – Dazaifu – Yanagawa – Tenjin; or
- Tenjin – Yanagawa – Dazaifu – Tenjin
The ticket pack also included discounts in various partner stores (restaurants, souvenirs, etc.).
We went for the first route option as we had a scheduled kimono rental in Dazaifu in the morning. And when we reached Dazaifu station, it made us feel like we were transported back in time.
We reserved an appointment for kimono rental in WARGO, the same rental shop I went to in Kyoto last 2018. Still in awe on how quick they were in dressing us up as well as doing our hairstyle. Their location was convenient for us because Dazaifu Tenmangu was just a short walk away.
Once we entered DAZAIFU TENMANGU, we were greeted by the statue of an ox. We saw the locals patting its head and upon researching, it is believed that you can become smarter by doing this.
After this, there were bridges to cross over Lake Shinji to reach the shrine’s honden. These three bridges represented one timeline each – past, present, and future.
Reaching the honden (main hall), people pray and revere Sugawara Michizane, the god of academics and learning. When Michizane was still alive, he was respected as a scholar, politician, and a poet.
I noticed that this shrine had omikuji in various colorful papers and ema in different shapes and designs. I was not able to see it but I read that there Dazaifu Tenmangu offers a unique omikuji called usodori. The usodori is a type of bird and is considered to be the guardian of Tenjin-sama. It is believed to improve people’s fortunes and brings them happiness.
Dazaifu Tenmangu also has an ume garden but unfortunately, the trees were not yet blooming. Or did they finish already?
Before leaving to return the kimono, we dropped by the line of food stalls outside the shrine and bought takoyaki (¥500). I also bought an Amaou strawberry stick (¥700). In a stick, there was one chocolate-covered Amaou strawberry while the other two were plain ones. Seemed expensive but all worth it because those were really good strawberries! Amaou strawberry is the pride of Hakata region because it is considered as one of the best, if not the best, strawberries in Japan.
Time to return the kimono and head to Yanagawa!