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Go west : Dazaifu Tenman-guu – To the main shrine

Date Published: Last Update:2015/04/10 Travel & View point , ,

Dazaifu Tenman-guu : To the main shrine

On the way to the shrine from the station

Like “Konpira-guu” in Kagawa, there are many shops and restaurants on either side of the street to the shrine.


- Starbucks with a peculiar appearance -

– “Ume ga e mochi” or “Ume ga ya mochi” –

One of Dazaifu specialties.
It’s a sort of “baked daifuku”.
A round baked “mochi” (rice cake) stuffed with “anko” (sweetened red bean paste).
A plum mark on the top.

“Ume ga e” (or “Ume ga ya”) means “a stick of a plum tree”.
Its name has got nothing to do its ingredients.
It was created from a Michizane-related legend:

When Michizane relegated to Dazaifu, the government ordered not to supply food nor horses to him.
So, the officers forbid even conversations with Michizane, let alone food supply.
Michizane lived in a terrible condition like a prisoner at a nearly rotten house.
An old woman who lived nearby his house couldn’t bear to leave him like that, and she offered him “mochi” on a plum tree stick.



- "Ume ga e mochi" with Matcha -
Cost me 650 yen.

I ordered “Matcha set”, which you can enjoy the freshly-baked “mochi” and matcha green tea, and I loved it.
Baked mochi was crunchy and it came well with sweet “anko”.
You can take “mochi” away too.
I guess it tastes much better while it is hot.

To the main shrine

– Entrance –


“Torii” made with granite.
6.17 meters (approx. 20.25 feet) high.
It’s not known when this was built, but probably during Muromachi era (1336 to 1573).
A prefecturally-designated cultural property.



An ox statue in front of the Torii.
It is believed that you will get wisdom when you stroke its head, your problem in your body will be gone when you pass your hand over the part of your body and the equivalent part of the statue’s.
(If you have something wrong with your left leg, stroke your and the statue’s left leg.)
It seems that many people stroke its nose without knowing the precise story.
In fact, I myself believed that I could get wisdom by just touching any part of the statue.



- Gate to "Enjyu-ou in" -

“Enjyu-ou in” was a former guesthouse.
For three years from 1865, five Imperial court nobles were held here.
They were expelled from Kyoto because they planned the overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate to retrieve the power of the emperor as the head of Japan.



– The bridges and the pond –


There are three bridges over the pond called “Shinji-ike” (lit. “Heart character pond”).
“Shinji-ike” is a pond made in the cursive writing shape of the Kanji character meaning “heart”.

The Kanji character for “heart”
Kanji for "heart"
Top one is usual writing, bottom one is cursive.

There are several “shinji-ike” in Japan including ones in Katsura Rikyuu (Katsura Imperial Villa) and a world heritage “Saihou-ji” (a.k.a. “Koke-dera”, “temple of moss”) in Kyoto.



The bridges are consisted of two arched bridges and a flat one.
They signify past, present and future (The flat one indicates “present”), in accordance with Buddhist thought.
The nearest one to the entrance is “past”.
The arched bridges are said that you will be purified mentally and physically by crossing them.


- From the top of the first arched bridge -


- From the third bridge? -


- From the top of the third bridge -

– Shiga-sha –


A small shrine located on the place between the flat bridge and the “future” arched bridge.
Enshrines three marine gods.
Rebuilt in 1458 according to the record.
A national important cultural property.


Related posts:
#Dazaifu (1: General Info)
(2: Michizane – general)
(3: Michizane – legends)
(4: Michizane – vengeance)
(5: Michizane – Tenman-guu)
(7: Dazaifu – the main shrine and around)
(8: Dazaifu – Kyushu National Museum)

#Hakata (1: General Info)
(2: Moomin Cafe)
(3: Juventus Lounge)
(4: Kushida Shrine and others)

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A Japanese living in Okayama. A proud "Otaku"! Loves animals, snacks, manga, games (PC, iPad, Nintendo DS, PSP), foreign TV dramas, traveling and football (soccer).

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