Top choice shinto shrine in Dazaifu

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Poet-scholar Sugawara-no-Michizane was a distinguished Kyoto figure until his exile to distant Dazaifu, where he died two years later. He became deified as Tenman Tenjin, god of culture and scholars. Among the countless visitors to the grand, sprawling Tenman-gū, his shrine and burial place, are students hoping to pass college entrance exams. The hondō (main hall) was rebuilt in 1591.

Behind the shrine is the Kankō Historical Museum, with dioramas showing Tenjin's life (an English leaflet provides explanations). Across the grounds, the Daizifu Tenman-gū Museum has artefacts from his life, including some excellent swords. This is a near-mandatory stop on the bus-tour route, so expect to see swarms of people even on weekdays.