Top things to do

Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Dazaifu

Dazaifu Tenman-gū

Among the countless visitors to the grand, sprawling Tenman-gū – shrine and burial place of poet-scholar Tenman Tenjin – are students making offerings and buying amulets in hopes of passing college entrance exams.Th…
Top Choice Museum in Dazaifu

Kyūshū National Museum

Built into the tranquil eastern hills of Dazaifu and reached through more escalators than can be found at the average airport, this striking structure (built 2005) resembles a massive space station and chronicles th…
Top Choice Noodles in Dazaifu

Saifu Udon

In business since 1948, the Kimura family makes such sought-after udon noodles that this tiny eight-seat shop closes whenever it runs out. Arrive early or prepare to wait. The reward is a bowl of broth and noodles t…
Buddhist Temple in Dazaifu

Kanzeon-ji

In the woods, nestled among rice paddies and reachable by bus (¥100) or about a 20-minute walk from Dazaifu Station, this rustic temple dates from 746, but only the great bell (said to be Japan's oldest) remains of …
Cafe in Dazaifu

Kasanoya

On this street teeming with shops selling umegaemochi (sweet-bean-paste-filled cakes), this place makes them before your eyes (five for ¥600), assuming you're willing to wait in line. It serves lunch, too – noodles …
Buddhist Temple in Dazaifu

Kōmyōzen-ji

Tucked away between Dazaifu Station and the Kyūshū National Museum, this small temple has an exquisite jewel of a Zen garden. It's a peaceful contrast to the crowds at the nearby shrine. Hours are irregular, so be s…
Monastery in Dazaifu

Kaidan-in

This intimate temple dates from 761 and was one of the most important Buddhist ordination monasteries in Japan. Combine it with a visit to the more impressive Kanzeon-ji next door. Both are reachable by bus (¥100) o…
Museum in Dazaifu

Dazaifu Tenman-gū Museum

On the grounds of the Tenman-gū shrine, many historical and religious objects related to Tenman Tenjin are on display in this classic museum, including some excellent swords.
Museum in Dazaifu

Kankō Historical Museum

The life story of Sugawara-no-Michizane is told here in dioramas using Hakata ningyō (dolls). It's not easy to digest if you're not a Japanese speaker, although an English leaflet provides explanations.
Museum in Dazaifu

Kanzeon-ji Exhibition Hall

At this mid-20th-century hall within the Kanzeon-ji grounds, of particular note is the wooden statuary from the 10th to 12th centuries. Many items show Tibetan or Indian influence.