Top things to do

Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Dazaifu

Tenman-gū

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 count…
Top Choice Museum in Dazaifu

Kyūshū National Museum

Built into the tranquil hills of Dazaifu and reached through more escalators than the average airport, this striking structure (built in 2005) resembles a massive space station for the arts. One of the best (if not …
Top Choice Noodles in Dazaifu

Saifu Udon

Handmade udon noodles are so sought-after here that this tiny eight-seat shop closes whenever it runs out. Plan on arriving early and you may need to wait for your turn at the table. The reward is a bowl of broth an…
Buddhist Temple in Dazaifu

Kanzeon-ji

Adjacent to Kaidan-in, this temple dates from 746, but only the great bell (said to be Japan's oldest) remains from the original construction. Its Exhibition Hall has an impressive collection of statuary, most of it…
Cafe in Dazaifu

Kasanoya

The best reason to come here is to grab some of the best umegaemochi this street has to offer (five for ¥600), assuming you're willing to wait in line. You can eat here, too – either set menus or items à la carte. F…
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.
Buddhist Temple in Dazaifu

Kōmyōzen-ji

Secreted away on the southern edge of Dazaifu, this small temple has an exquisite jewel of a Zen garden. It's a peaceful contrast to the crowds at the nearby shrine.
Museum in Dazaifu

Dazaifu Exhibition Hall

Dazaifu Exhibition Hall displays finds from local archaeological excavations. Nearby are the Tofurō ruins (都府楼) of ancient government buildings.
Museum in Dazaifu

Exhibition Hall

The display hall is within Kanzeon-ji. Of particular note is the wooden statuary from the 10th and 12th centuries. Many items show Tibetan or Indian influence.
Monastery in Dazaifu

Kaidan-in

Nestled among rice paddies and reachable by bus (¥100), Kaidan-in dates from 761 and was one of the most important Buddhist ordination monasteries in Japan.