Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 2 - Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

The first stop this morning was Dazaifu Tenmangu (大宰府天滿宮)Shrine, a Shinto shrine in Dazaifu(大宰府), a city located about 15 km southeast of Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan.
Below story behind the shrine was extracted from tour-around-Japan: Michizane Sugawara (845-903) was a politician, talented in poetry and literature. He became one of the top government officials at a young age but in 901, he was tricked into committing a crime of which he was innocent. As a result, he was demoted and transferred from Kyoto, the capital city, to Dazaifu, a remote area in Japan at the time.
After his death in 903, people tried to send his body to Kyoto by cow carriage. But the cow carriage refused to move at the end of Dazaifu area. It was thought that the soul of Michizane wanted to remain in Dazaifu. So his body was buried in Dazaifu and a mausoleum was built there in 905.
Later, a series of evil phenomena such as plague outbreak and abnormal climate occured in Kyoto. Kyoto citizens thought of the phenomena as Michizane's curse, so they trembled with fear.
So the government decided to build a shrine on the Michizane's tomb in 919, and Kitano Tenmangu shrine for his soul was built in Kyoto in 947.
Since the Middle Ages, this shrine had been worshiped as the god of learning, because he was an excellent scholar. Every year, many students taking an entrance exam visit here.
It was a very hot morning today! The bus stopped about 800m to 1km away from the shrine as the way to the shrine was not accessible to bus. En route to the shrine. Both sides are lined with many colourful, interesting and bright shops. There were many tourists this morning.

A little temple along the way

Do not be mistaken - we are not at the entrance yet.

Need to pass thru many Tori gates before the entrance and the street leading to the shrine is famous for umegaimochi, a kind of sweet plum-filled rice cake.

Finally we are at the entrance to the shrine. A large and beautiful complex dedicated to Sugawara Michizane in the city after his exile from Kyoto. It is considered to be one of the Three Great Tenjin Shrines of Japan.

There are 3 such bridges in the compound, Second one is flat tho.

Beautiful landscape and garden

After crossing the third bridge

Plum tree

Entrance to shrine thru Roumon Gate

Surrounding area in the shrine

Main shrine

The second bridge

Back to the entrance

Back to the shopping street

Queued to buy ONE umegaimochi to try. Many people were buying boxes. Choose a shop with long queue. It has to be good.

Umegaimochi, hot from the oven - filling is black tau sa with a light flavour of plum sour taste.

More shops

Someone's house and there are many boys in this family, judging from the many fish lanterns hung.

Day 1 - Overnight Flight to Fukuoka, Kyushu via SQ

Day 2 - Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine -> Lunch -> Huis Ten Bosch -> Dinner near the Nagasaki Dejima Wharf -> Nagasaki ChinaTown -> Best Western Premier Hotel, Nagasaki

Day 3 - Breakfast -> Atomic Bomb Museum -> Peace Garden -> Lunch, Kumamoto -> Kumamoto, Suizenji Park -> Kumamoto Castle -> Mt Aso Farmland Resort -> Dinner at Hotel

Day 4 - Breakfast -> Sakurajima Island, 桜島 -> Satzuma lunch at Sakurajima Island, 桜島 -> Ibuzuki Hot Sand Bath -> Dinner -> Kagoshima Rembrandt Hotel

Day 5 - Breakfast -> Super Long journey to Mt Aso National Park -> Mt Aso Museum (cable car was suspended due to bad weather ) -> Journey to Beppu -> Beppuwan Royal Hotel -> Dinner

Day 6 - Breakfast -> Chi-no-ike Jigoku (Blood Pond) -> Journey to Fukuoka -> BBQ/Sushi buffet lunch -> Robosquare - > Tenjin underground shopping street -> Hakata Canal City -> Ramen @ Ramen Stadium -> Excel Tokyo Hotel -> Walk along the Naka River -> Ichiran ,一蘭 Tonkotsu Ramen Dinner -> Walk to Tenjin -> Area around the hotel

Day 7 - Area around the hotel -> Breakfast - > Morning flight Home Sweet Home

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